We strongly believe that to be good corporate citizens, a company should invest in the community from which it derives the majority of its business and where its clients live and work. To that end, we routinely donate our time, talent, treasure, and in-kind services to local, non-profit organizations. The cornerstone of our charitable efforts is our involvement with Bucks County's Garden of Reflection, Pennsylvania's official 9/11 memorial.
September 11, 2001 is a day very few of us need help remembering. Nearly everyone remembers where they were when they heard of the attacks. What they were doing. Who they were with. It’s not a day any of us would like to relive.
But as time passes and old wounds heal, we find ourselves looking for a way to remember those we lost that day – some way we can hold the victims in our hearts.
The Garden of Reflection is meant to help fill the void that day left in the American consciousness. With its walking paths, sculptures and twin fountains, the Garden is a tranquil respite from the harsh memories of 9/11. It’s a place to find serenity in a world that sometimes doesn’t seem to make any sense at all.
For the families of the 2,973 victims, including 18 from Bucks County, the Garden of Reflection is a celebration of the lives of their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters, their brothers and sisters. It’s not a place of sadness. It’s a place of hope.
netStride understands the commitment its community has made in dedicating the Garden of Reflection. The Garden needs funding to stay alive – to keep its grass cut, its grounds maintained, its paths clean. That’s why each September, on the Sunday closest to the 9/11 anniversary, netStride works to raise funds for the memorial with the 9/11 Garden of Reflection 5K Run/Walk.
Beginning at the entrance to the memorial and winding throughout the northeast corner of Lower Makefield Township, the race began in 2004, before construction on the memorial began as a way for netStride to give something back to the community that has been so supportive for so long. In the years since its debut, the race has raised over $100,000 for the Garden of Reflection.
Every year, hundreds of people turn out for the race--both the serious and not-so-serious. The race course is equally friendly to the hardcore runner as well as the family who decides to walk it with kids in tow. The race is timed officially, and winners in various age groups, as well as overall winners, receive medals for placing. In 2006, the race’s top female finisher was 11-year-old Sara Sargent of Yardley – proving that the race is an event for all ages.
The race, like the Garden of Reflection, is unique. Nowhere else in America has there been such a grassroots effort to memorialize the victims of 9/11. And those who run not only challenge themselves – they challenge all of us to support new, community-driven ways of remembering those we lost in a serene and peaceful fashion.