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National Service Blog - Archive
by
Greg Tucker

As we look ahead to this year’s September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, let’s step back and consider why service is such an important part of this day.

Over seven years, 9/11 families and support groups worked to establish the day as a way to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 and rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that followed the attacks.

The shocking acts of terrorism on the morning of 9/11 killed thousands of people and left a deep scar on our nation. But what happened in the aftermath revealed the genuine heart of the American people. Conflicting emotions of anger, confusion, and uncertainty yielded to feelings of hope, unity, and compassion. We would not forget the day and the people who were lost, but we would not let tragedy crush our spirit.

President George W. Bush spoke about our nation's resiliency in December 2001, saying that we would replace those emotions of anger and sadness with the "memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend – even a friend whose name it never knew."

In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which recognizes September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and charges the Corporation for National and Community Service with supporting this effort across the country. CNCS encourages service efforts on 9/11 by promoting service projects through Serve.gov, giving grants to help communities and organizations with their September 11th projects, and providing tools to connect people with resources that will help them to serve.

To Honor With Service

With the support and encouragement of the 9/11 families, Americans are asked to serve as a way to commemorate that day and the lives that were lost; to recapture that feeling that we are better united than divided; and to recognize the strength that comes from placing others before ourselves.

During last year's 10th anniversary observance of the 9/11 attacks, President Obama recalled how the tragedy brought out the best in the American people and urged our citizens to reclaim that sense of unity and generosity by serving on September 11th.

"Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost," said President Obama. "A way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11."

Our ideal selves emerge when we look outward to serve our neighbors and communities while embracing the common good. We can think of no better way to demonstrate this ideal than by uniting with your fellow Americans on this day to pause, remember, and serve.

Keywords: September11, UWS
This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve
As a communications instructor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., I am always looking for new ways to re-invent my communication courses for first and second-year students. In September 2008, I took 10 students to National Public Lands Day at our local state park, Bledsoe Creek State Park.
Once a month, Ed and his son, help prepare a hot meal for 35-40 men, women, and children at the 8th Street Mission in West Memphis, Ark. Every week, he stops by to serve desert and help with dishes. "I feel at home there as I cook, serve the tables, and wash dishes."
Good nutrition is important for everyone, but incorporating high-quality food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can be challenging for people as they age and their appetites diminish.
Another intense storm had hit in the night, filling the church’s window-wells with water that flowed over the roof’s rain gutters. For the next several hours all of us were mopping, vacuuming, and baling water to protect the reconstructed walls and flooring from the need to be demolished and replaced again. It brought back many difficult memories of fighting the 1993 floods, but this time we won.
By simply offering their time and skills through pro bono services, two lawyers helped a senior citizen access benefits she desperately needed.
At Intel, we strive to be an asset to our communities around the world. Under the Intel Involved Skills Based Volunteer program, employees are encouraged to use their professional skills to make a sustainable impact in their communities.
“We helped today by making it possible for the Sergeant to do a job that he otherwise had no way of doing. The fact that for the next two years he has one less thing to worry about is more important than we realize.”
"I believe the best thing we can do in life is give service to others and that is part of the mission of 4-H, to pledge our hands to larger service"
It was our second day on the Thrivent Builds with the Habitat for Humanity site in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and already the house that my Thrivent Financial for Lutherans colleagues and I were constructing was taking shape. What was simply a foundation when we arrived the day before now had a floor and walls.
A group of "bored" of middle school students in Ames, Iowa, spend the summer planning a community block party and lay the foundation for a new service-learning club for youth.
As part of United We Serve’s Energy and Enviornment Week, the Community Action Agency of Delaware County in Pennsyvania conducted a two-week volunteer initiative.
Rachael, a former Washington, D.C. Public School teacher, volunteers with middle-school youth to help them strengthen literacy skills, develop civic values, and have fun in the process.
Just before the summer began, the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast learned that they would not be able to serve lunch to their youth club members for the first time in five years. This lasted for weeks, until Morgan Stanley stepped in to help.
Family honors daughter lost to ovarian cancer through service and creating awareness around the disease.
In response to the President's call to service, members of Lajna Imaillah, the women's auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, are launching a "Feed the Hungry" program.
Every year in America, over 100 million new cell phones are sold at stores and malls. Of these sales, 95% are going to consumers that already have a phone. What do you do with your old phone? Secure the Call, www.securethecall.org, relies on volunteers to collect used and unwanted phones and then recycle them back to the community to be used as free 911 emergency-only phones.
Summer is a season of heightened hunger in America. As the school year ends and school nutrition programs end with it, many children lose an important source of food. Regular donations to local charities are also interrupted by travel and changed summer schedules. In 2009, economic troubles have made the challenges facing many families even greater.
Volunteers across the country are teaming with Islamic Relief USA in the annual 'Day of Dignity' effort to serve thousands of homeless and underserved people in 19 cities.
Unemployment is around 10% in Wyandotte County, Kansas, so many families have a hard time getting all the school supplies their kids need to start the new school year. On August 1, a team of more than 100 volunteers from several community organizations distributed school supplies to nearly 4,000 students.
Students from Laconia High School in New Hampshire are well on their way to the creation of a DVD that will contain blueprints and critical information to be used by emergency services. In addition to creating a new emergency brochure for parents, students are using state-of-the-art Computer Aided Drafting software and laser measuring tools to create detailed floor plans and 3-D views of each room in the high school.
Regardless of her disability, Blair has always loved community service.
Dr. Angela began a community health program at Korean Resource Center (KRC) with a group of Korean American medical students. Monthly clinics are held that provide individual consultations to low-income uninsured Korean Americans, many of whom have been diagnosed with illnesses.
On Saturday, July 18, volunteers from Goldman Sachs and more than 130 volunteers from The UN Foundation’s second annual Youth Leadership Summit gathered to assist the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) with the reparation of northern Manhattan’s 119-acre Highbridge Park.
70 percent of the work at the Gaining Ground organic farm in the historic Concord, Mass., is completed by volunteers. In fact, volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds harvest approximately 20,000 lbs. of organic produce at the farm each growing season.
Capitol One Bank was so moved by the poster’s message - that domestic violence occurs at all ages and seniors are just as likely to become victims as any other age group - that it also donated $50,000 to the Not Forgotten Coalition to help fund training for volunteers working with seniors.
Actor Charles S. Dutton, who was incarcerated in his youth, inspires more than 150 young people in Arkansas to take control of their education and to help strengthen their communities in an effort to keep these young adults from entering the criminal justice system.
California Lutheran University students partnered with the City of Ventura for a Ventura Riverbed Cleanup.
Eighteen volunteers put in 4,320 hours a year and serve approximately 25,200 meals at St. John’s Samaritans Table in Stark County, Ohio. The volunteers manage all aspects of the weekly program and make sure that no one leaves the table hungry.
The Mid-South Lions Club donates a life changing surgery to a little girl who was attacked by a pit bull.

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