Hundreds of thousands of Americans are participating in volunteer service activities today to commemorate the 9/11 anniversary on the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) leads the annual effort to pay tribute to and honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 through service.
The projects associated with the National Day of Service and Remembrance include building affordable housing for veterans and military families, educating citizens on disaster preparedness, and organizing food drives. Hundreds of service events are taking place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
CNCS partners with MyGoodDeed, the nonprofit that began the 9/11 Day observance 10 years ago, and hundreds of other nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, schools, and businesses nationwide.
Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS, joined 200 volunteers at a project organized by MyGoodDeed and the Mission Continues in Washington, DC, on Saturday, Sept. 7, to pay tribute to DC-area firefighters and first responders. Volunteers repainted the interior of the Fire and Emergency Services Training Academy, revitalized exterior landscaping, and built an outdoor break area for the Academy.
“In the aftermath of September 11th, we came together as a country to show that we are there for each other,” said Spencer. “Service can be a healing experience, and I am honored that so many Americans are dedicating their day to give back. Through volunteering, we can make a difference in the lives of families and transform communities on the National Day of Service and Remembrance and every day.”
Below is a sampling of service projects that are taking place on September 11th or took place during events last weekend.
- Florida: The Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) and more than 30 community partners will host the largest youth emergency preparedness event in Northwest Florida on Sept. 14. Last year, more than 1,400 Floridians attended the expo and hundreds of pounds of food were collected for local food pantries, emergency kits were assembled and blood donations were solicited; attendance is expected to match or exceed that in 2013.
- Georgia: In Savannah, volunteers with the Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity -- an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International -- will engage local volunteers in a series of hands-on service projects at a Habitat house build.
- Louisiana: On Sept. 7, HandsOn New Orleans, the South Louisiana Red Cross, Evacuteer.org, and the New Orleans Fire Department educated residents of the Hollygrove neighborhood on emergency preparedness, city-assisted hurricane evacuation, and fire prevention. Volunteers assembled packets for houses throughout the neighborhood, and the fire department installed free smoke detectors in homes that lacked them.
- Missouri: Students from Missouri Southern State University of Joplin have joined with Stars of HOPE to complete 3,000 inspirational art pieces that will be planted along the Jersey Shore to bring hope and inspiration to the families and children still rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.
- Montana: In collaboration with the Montana Campus Compact, Montana Tech and Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Montana will hold a “Brush with Kindness” event to engage veteran and student volunteers in Butte, MT. This event will bring students, veterans and community volunteers together to paint and perform minor repairs to the home of a community member in need.
- Paramus, New Jersey: Today more than 300 volunteers will take part in Operation Goody Bag’s 12th Annual Night of Remembrance and Hope. Volunteers will assemble care packages to be delivered to troops serving in the armed forces and will include handwritten notes and drawings donated by schoolchildren from all over the country.
- Toms River, New Jersey: HOPEworldwide Central Jersey organized a group of local volunteers, who received training on disaster preparedness from the American Red Cross. Volunteers then canvassed more than 500 homes, providing residents with disaster prevention, preparedness, and recovery information.
- New York: On Sept. 9, MyGoodDeed and the Mission Continues organized more than 500 volunteers to refresh paint, clean up landscaping and add outdoor break areas to both the New York City Fire Department and EMS Training Academies.
- Ohio: Fifty veterans and military service members will join Habitat MidOhio’s 11 AmeriCorps members to help build six homes in Columbus, Ohio, today.
- Texas: HOPEworldwide Houston kicked off a series of fire prevention-related activities. Joined by representatives from the Houston Fire Department, volunteers canvassed the tailgating area of Reliant Stadium and provided fire prevention information. On Sept. 7, volunteers also canvassed the Southwest area of Houston. Fire prevention activities included educational games for children, fire escape planning, fire extinguisher demonstrations, and material distributions in multiple languages.