Person of the Week: Sally Goodrich

Aug. 26, 2005 — -- This week, Sally Goodrich, a school administrator from Bennington, Vt., is packing for a journey -- a journey she began on Sept. 11, 2001.

Goodrich's son, Peter, was on board one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center.

"He was an intellectually curious human being," she said of her son. "He had a great sense of humor, he was very loud, very affectionate and gave great hugs."

In the months after losing her son, Goodrich received a letter from one of his childhood friends -- Marine Maj. Rush Filson, who was serving in Afghanistan.

He described what life is like for children living in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Goodrich and her husband, Don, decided to build a school in Afghanistan as a living memorial to their son. On Monday, Goodrich will go to Afghanistan to see the school open.

"Peter respected life," she said. "He respected all forms of life. I felt this was an opening. And I just needed enough courage to take advantage of the opportunity and walk through that opening."

Community Pitches In

To build the school, Goodrich and her husband rallied local schools and churches, clubs and scout troops, neighbors and anonymous donors.

In all, they raised $190,000. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to help.

"We have Jews and Muslims and Christians," said Goodrich. "We have ardent Republicans and we have Democrats and Red Sox, and I hate to use that word 'Yankees.' I'm a Red Sox fan."

In April, Goodrich made her first trip to Afghanistan to survey the construction. The "kind foreign lady," as she has come to be known, was given a hero's welcome.

The school will have 16 classrooms for 500 young girls. Equally important to her is teaching children at home about life in Afghanistan. Goodrich thinks her son would be pleased.

"As time went on I realized that I had, in fact, this opportunity to use my life to continue his," she said.

Despite a recent rise in violence in the country, Goodrich says she will not be deterred. Her trip next week is no exception.

She wants to keep the connection she is building with the people of Afghanistan alive.

"I have regained my sense of trust and hope, and I have seen the best of human nature," she said. "I've been the most unfortunate of women, but I am now the most fortunate of women."

ABC News' Terry Moran filed this report for "World News Tonight."

For more information about the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation, visit