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Remembering 9/11: An Actors Fund Story

September 11, 2011

On this day of remembrance, we pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 by taking a moment to remind our community that The Fund provides an important safety net for members of the entertainment industry. With a crisis like 9/11, this message becomes even more urgent. The Fund helps our colleagues to face challenges and crises that can arise in anyone’s life. In difficult times, we’re there to assist and guide. For example, through The Actors Fund Work Program, people learn how to translate industry experience into other job opportunities; through our Entertainment Assistance Program, our social workers provide intensive case management that is sensitive to the competitive nature of work in the industry. The following story is one example of how these two programs made a big difference in one person’s life.

Following September 11th, 2001, The Fund initiated a variety of programs and services to help members of the entertainment industry directly affected by the attacks. Counseling programs were initiated, social workers helped link people with special services and job search seminars were expanded for those whose sideline work was in lower Manhattan.

One of the first participants in this expanded job search seminar was a 40-year-old SAG/AFTRA actress member who had a long-term, temporary position at a major financial company located next to the World Trade Center. Having always supplemented her acting career with work as an office temp, she found herself without a job, and suffering anxiety and stress.

She learned about AWP’s job search seminar from a flyer posted at her union. She was relieved to connect, especially because her former employer provided no support and it was difficult securing assistance from other public and private support services.

She gained job search assistance, social service support and help from the weekly support group, and began working full-time as an administrative assistant where a flexible work schedule allowed her to audition. She also received mental health support and guidance, from our Mental Health Services. This is just one of many stories of those we help every day in need, crisis or transition.

We join our fellow Americans in remembering everyone we lost on that September morning. And remember:  Everyone needs help sometime, and The Fund is ready when that time comes. Visit us at www.actorsfund.org.

 

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