9/11 First Responders Heading to Haiti to Help Orphanage in Need

WCBS (880) - June 27, 2011

by Peter Haskell

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - A group of first responders from 9/11 is continuing its effort to help others in need by leaving for Haiti on Sunday. This will be John Viola's 12th trip to Haiti as part of HEART 9/11. The retired fire captain is returning to help an orphanage.

"We'll be down there for several days this week, getting plumbing up and running for them so they have clean bathrooms and running water," said Viola. Viola says it's always rewarding. "The kids are just great," he said. "They're around us all the time. They love us."

HEART 9/11 was started by retired port authority cop Bill Keegan. He missed the camaraderie of his old job and the ability to help others.

"We also were missing that thing in ourselves where we give back," said Keegan.

The group has pitched in after a number of natural disasters. Volunteers with the group have made numerous trips to Haiti since a massive earthquake devastated the country in January, 2010.

For more information, visit www.heart911.org.