Stars Of Hope Help Kansas Children -

New York Says Thank You
Click for Photo Album

New York City Firefighters Bring Holiday Cheer to 200 Young Survivors of Greensburg, Kansas Tornado:

Read the complete account from Jeff of The New York Says Thank You Foundation:


You helped to touch the lives of 220 children in Greensburg, Kansas last week and lift the spirits of an entire community. Allow me to explain.

On May 4 of this year, an F5 tornado wiped out 95% of Greensburg, Kansas, a small farming community in South Central Kansas. In just a few minutes, 13 people died and an entire American town was literally wiped off the map. Of the original population of 1,500 residents, 700 people remain in Greensburg, almost all of them living in FEMA trailers in a field just south of town. Among the remaining residents are 220 school-age children pre-K thru high school.

The landscape of Greensburg, Kansas looks like a nuclear war zone. Nothing is left. Just empty lots. Exposed basements where houses once stood. Twisted trees snapped in half and devoid of leaves. There is quite simply no color left in town.

That was until New York Says Thank You did something about it last week.

With the help of 2 FDNY firefighters (one was FF Jimmy Sands of the Ten House) and the Vincent family of Groesbeck, Texas, we painted 220 “Stars of Hope” with every single child in Greensburg, Kansas last week. Each star was decorated with brilliant colors and words of inspiration. HOPE. FAITH. BELIEVE. We then took each one of the stars and attached them to bright green 4-foot spikes that we planted in every single corner of the tornado ravaged town.

We literally planted HOPE in Greensburg, Kansas last week by empowering the children of Greensburg to bring back color and a sense of community to the devastated landscape. At the town meeting in the temporary gymnasium last Thursday evening, over 600 residents stood up and gave us a standing ovation for the “Stars of Hope” project. Imagine 600 people who lost every one of their worldly possessions -- and their whole town – standing and applauding us because we showed up with a few New York City firefighters and painted stars with their children for a few hours. It was a moment I will never forget -- and those applause belong to you.

Through your support, you enable us to rebuild hope. Whether in the form of a new home for the Vincent family of Groesbeck, Texas, or helping to clear the burned-out home sites of the Lachenbruch and Carter families of San Diego, or whether painting brightly colored stars with over 200 young survivors of one of the worst tornadoes in American history. You enable us to rebuild HOPE. Both in the people we help and within the hearts of our volunteers.

And finally, please help us to refill our coffers so that we can make an even greater impact on the lives of people all across the United States and among our volunteers in 2008. Whether you donate $1, $100 or $1,000, any amount you donate will help us to continue to lift the spirits of special people and communities in need.  Donate at our website at:

My sincere best wishes to you and your family for a joyous New Year and, as always, my deepest gratitude for your continued support of The New York Says Thank You Foundation and our sacred mission - "From 1 day of terror, 10 years of Kindness."

Jeff Parness
The New York Says Thank You Foundation


Stars of Hope



The mission of The New York Says Thank You Foundation is to commemorate the kindness extended to New Yorkers by Americans from all across the country in the days, weeks, and months following 9/11, by sending volunteers from New York City each year on the 9/11 Anniversary to help rebuild communities around the United States affected by natural or man-made disasters.

The New York Says Thank You Foundation is registered as a charitable tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is incorporated under section 402 of the New York State Not-For-Profit Corporation Law. For more information, please see: