A world­wide im­pact

The Buffalo News - - WASHINGTON NEWS -

Al­i­son Des Forges lived to have a world­wide im­pact. And a decade af­ter her death, she’s still hav­ing one.

And Des Forges – a Uni­ver­sity at Buf­falo pro­fes­sor and hu­man rights ac­tivist – is by no means the only per­son who died on Flight 3407 whose legacy con­tin­ues to grow both in Buf­falo and around the world.

Af­ter Des Forges’ death, her fam­ily and friends raised $500,000 to pro­vide four schol­ar­ships an­nu­ally for Buf­falo pub­lic school stu­dents to at­tend the Uni­ver­sity at Buf­falo.

Flight 3407 fam­i­lies also es­tab­lished ei­ther high school or col­lege schol­ar­ships in the name of crash vic­tims David Borner, Bev­erly Eck­ert, Ron Gonzales, Brad Green, Cole­man Mel­lett, Lorin Mau­rer and Kristin Safran.

And that doesn’t in­clude schol­ar­ships es­tab­lished – and six-fig­ure dona­tions made to uni­ver­si­ties and other in­sti­tu­tions – by Flight 3407 fam­ily mem­bers who do not want their ef­forts pub­li­cized.

“There are a num­ber of people who don’t want the at­ten­tion,” John Kaus­ner said.

In ad­di­tion to the schol­ar­ships in Des Forges’ mem­ory, her fam­ily and friends spon­sor an­nual in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences on hu­man rights is­sues such as cli­mate change and hu­man traf­fick­ing, as well as an an­nual award for people who work to im­prove Buf­falo and the world.

Sharon Green’s ef­forts to honor her late hus­band, Brad, reach across the world as well.

Ev­ery Novem­ber, Green and about 10 of her friends from the Flight 3407 fam­i­lies gather with dozens of oth­ers in her East Amherst home. Day af­ter day, they form an as­sem­bly line to put to­gether gift boxes for poor chil­dren across the world.

Part of Sa­mar­i­tan Purse’s Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child, Green’s ef­fort started by putting to­gether 100 gift boxes a year. Now, thanks in part to help from her “Flight 3407 sis­ters,” the num­ber has sky­rock­eted to more than 1,000.

“It gives you a sense of some­thing good com­ing from some­thing so tragic,” Green said. “Beauty from the ashes.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.