Bellmore & Merrick Herald- Thursday, 9/5/02
Jill Pall, of Merrick, has created Adam’s Angels, to honor the memory of Adam Rand, a Bellmore firefighter who died Sept. 11, as well as to aid families of World Trade Center victims. Like many New Yorkers, Merokean Jill Pall knew people who died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th. In seeking a way to channel her grief, she organized an auction last year to help the families of two Merrick and two Bellmore firefighters. After meeting with one of those families, the Rands, Pall was inspired to do more. Adam Rand, of Bellmore, was a 31-year-old New York City firefighter with Squad 288 in Maspeth, Queens. He also served as a Bellmore Fire Department volunteer. He died when responding to the World Trade Center disaster. Pall immediately formed a connection with Adam Rand’s parents following the auction. “After meeting with the Rand family, I totally clicked with Mary Ann and Jim Rand,” she said. Mary Ann Rand asked that money raised at the auction go to buy holiday toys for children who lost their firefighter dads on Sept. 11. From that one request, Adam’s Angels was born. Adam’s Angels started as a Web site connecting people who want to help with families of firefighters who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. The site has since grown to assist other families hurt by the tragedy. Those wanting to help are matched with a family and given the first name of the surviving spouse and names and ages of children. Pall said, “Once we match somebody, we send a post card to the firehouse that there’s stuff coming in and to give it to the family.” The local fire department in the family’s area, even if the victim was not a firefighter, acts as a liaison between the victim’s family and the donor. Important to note is that Adam’s Angels accepts no monetary donations. Over time, the Web site’s mission has continued to expand. Pall said, “In April, we decided to have a family support group. It’s an online forum for 9/11 families only.” The site, Pall noted, is open to extended family members. Adam’s Angels also features a message board where family members can correspond with one another. “On Sundays, I send a newsletter to everyone on there,” said Pall. Adam’s Angels treats families to weekends away at vacation destinations within driving distance. Pall has spent this summer calling amusement parks, hotels and restaurants seeking donated vouchers for goods and services. “We do everything on a shoe-string budget,” said Pall. Adam’s Angels also directs people to other Sept. 11-related Web sites and lists reputable, charitable organizations helping disaster victims. Pall began Adam’s Angels with a free Web site on Yahoo, but since the site has grown, she has enlisted help. One of those helpers, Pall said, is “my friend Shelley who lives in California. She’s basically the West Coast coordinator. She did our entire data base of 9/11, over 3,000 names, and she matches them for me.” Shelley Arellano is a teacher, Pall said. Instead of working summer school, she devoted her summer to Adam’s Angels. Vinny Petrocelli runs the Adam’s Angels Web site. He also runs www.bravestmemorial.com, where one may set up a tribute page for free. Pall, 25, graduated from Calhoun High School in Merrick and SUNY Brockport. She’s now between jobs, but has worked in public relations, media relations and marketing promotions for sports teams such as the New York Knicks and Miami Heat. She’s also worked for non-profit organizations. For those individuals or businesses that want to learn more about Adam’s Angels and how they can help.
Merrick & Bellmore Life- Thursday, 9/5/02
Adam1s Angels looks to a brighter future by Daniel Eder
On September 11, 2001 a Bellmore resident and firefighter died in the World Trade Center attack. Those who knew him best are making sure his memory does not die.
The friends and family of Adam Rand have founded Adam’s Angels, a memorial organization for the volunteer firefighter and member of Squad 288 in Maspeth, Queens. In the coming months the group is involved in a number of activities to commemorate September 11 and to help the families of Victims.
Adam’s Angels matches the children of firefighters who were killed with people from around the world. People are invited to write letters and send holiday gifts to the children. Anything is welcome, except cash.
“It’s good for me to say to people that we have no expenses, yet we still get a lot of things done like most other charities,” said Jill A. Pall, who founded Adam’s Angel’s with Rand’s mother and is its Program Director.
As the one-year anniversary draws near, the group is also involved in a number of other national events.
While this year1s September 11 will be reserved for private family functions, Ms. Pall says Adam’s Angels is organizing a nationwide candlelight vigil for the day before.
At 7:30 p.m. on September 10, Americans across the country will observe a moment of silence and light a candle for the thousands of people killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
That day will be reserved for remembering the past, but according to Ms. Pall, Adam’s Angels is more focused on making the future brighter for people who have lost family and friends.
3We’re trying to organize more events where families can meet face to face,” she said.
Adam’s Angels also runs a support group through its web site, where family members of firefighters killed in the World Trade Center attacks can keep in touch with each other through message boards and e-mails.
Special gifts are also available. Tickets donations for sporting events, movie previews and concerts are given by people and businesses to try to ease the loss suffered by family members and encourage victims families to meet and share the pain.
Though Ms. Pall is responsible for much of the group’s activities, says she could not do it alone. Other members of Adam’s Angels include the group’s web master, Vinny Petrocelli, and Shelly Arellano, who is acting coordinator for Adam’s Angels on the West Coast.
Adam’s Angels encourages others to get involved as well, but Ms. Pall stresses that all monetary proceeds will be given to the Brian Sweeny fund, a memorial charity for children with severe physical disabilities whose families do not have the money to pay for medical expenses.