By Bruce Smith I've always been proud to be a home builder, and after seeing the amazing outpouring of support from members of the home building industry for the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America, I'm prouder than ever before.

Historically, home builders have come to the aid of their communities in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. They have rolled up their sleeves, pitched in, and worked hard to restore their communities and help those in need.

Relief fund

And even though this terrible tragedy was not a natural disaster, the housing industry's response was the same: What can we do to help?

Due to the heartfelt concern and grief expressed by members in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack, the NAHB established the Home Builders Care Victims' Relief Fund in conjunction with its 800 affiliated state and local home builders associations and its philanthropic arm, the National Housing Endowment.

The fund's goal is to raise $5 million or more, and I'm pleased to report that we are well on the way to reaching this goal! Since the fund's inception, donations have been pouring in from across the country. And to further support this important effort, the NAHB donated $250,000 to the fund, and the National Housing Endowment contributed $125,000.

Donate now

I strongly encourage every one of the NAHB's 205,000 members to step forward and contribute $25 or more to assist in this important healing and rebuilding effort.

All donations to the Home Builders Care Victims' Relief Fund are tax deductible and will go to funds that provide direct assistance on behalf of the victims of the attack on America.

Donations can be sent to your local association, which will then forward the contributions to the National Housing Endowment, or you can contribute directly to the Home Builders Care Victims' Relief Fund, c/o The National Housing Endowment, 1201 15th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005. If you have any questions about this fund, I strongly encourage you to contact your association's executive officer for more information.

On behalf of the housing industry and the victims of this terrible tragedy, I thank you for your support. I know that our collective contribution will make great strides in helping our nation in this time of healing and recovery.