Washington D.C. – The first officially-designated September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance will be marked by service projects in all 50 states, with tens of thousands of volunteers expected to turn out to paint and refurbish homes, run food drives, spruce up schools, reclaim neighborhoods, and support and honor veterans and first responders.
“I call upon all Americans to join in service and honor the lives we lost, the heroes who responded in our hour of need, and the brave men and women in uniform who continue to protect our country at home and abroad,” said President Obama in a proclamation regarding Patriot Day and the National Day of Remembrance and Service issued today. “Working together, we can usher in a new era in which volunteering and more service is a way of life for all Americans. Deriving strength from tragedy, we can write the next great chapter in our Nation's history and ensure that future generations continue to enjoy the promise of America.”
The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of a seven-year effort started by 9/11 family members and support groups to establish the service day as a way to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11 and to rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that followed the attacks. September 11 was officially recognized as a National Day of Service and Remembrance by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, passed with strong bipartisan support and signed into law by President Obama in April.
September 11 also marks the end of the summer phase of President Obama's United We Serve initiative and its transition to a long-term, sustained effort. Since the launch of United We Serve in June, Americans have responded enthusiastically to the President's call to service by replenishing food banks, preventing summer reading loss, supporting veterans and military families, and meeting other needs.
Those interested in serving on September 11 can find volunteer opportunities and do-it-yourself project ideas for September 11 by visiting Serve.gov, the website created by the Corporation for National and Community Service to support United We Serve. The site features more than 250,000 volunteer opportunities for service throughout the year.
Working through Corporation for National and Community Service state offices and Governor-appointed state service commissions, the following 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance projects have been identified for all 50 states, Washington DC and Guam. These are small sample of projects that are taking place across the country.
Huntsville—Governor Bob Riley will participate in “Be Ready Camp,” which will engage 100 people in a mock disaster at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. On this day participants will remember the sacrifice of first responders. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical and military personnel in attendance will be honored during a special recognition ceremony. For more information, visit here or contact Jackie Bishop, 205-731-0030.
Anchorage—“Day of Caring Food Drive.” United Way of Anchorage will collect non-perishable food for the Food Bank of Alaska from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sears Mall parking lot. Last year, donations totaled over 363,000 pounds of food, equating to more than 240,000 meals for hungry children, women and men. For more information, visit here or contact Sue Brogan, 907-263-3821.
Phoenix—“In Memory and Commitment to Service” gathers 350 people for an Interfaith Prayer Circle at the Wesley Bolin Plaza 9/11 Memorial in downtown Phoenix. For more information, contact Bob Shogren, 602-364-2248.
El Dorado—“United We Serve – Together We Read” bring five VISTA members and 25 RSVP volunteers to read to 1,500 1st and 2nd graders in 14 schools (a total of 59 classrooms) in Columbia and Union Counties. The books will be donated to the libraries at each school. For more information, contact Opal Sims, 501-324-5234.
Los Angeles—“NEW School Uniform, Clothes and Backpack Giveaway.” A team of 40 volunteers will distribute clothes, shoes, and backpacks to 150 students at Evelyn Gratts Elementary in downtown LA. Items are provided by Operation School Bell. For more information, contact Kristen Haggins, 310-235-7709. Read more.
South Norwalk—“Let Me Read You Your Rights” forum will take place at the Canaan Institutional Baptist Church in South Norwalk. Fifty disadvantaged and court-involved youth will join law enforcement personnel, clergy, educators and community-based volunteers to launch the 2009-2010 PEN OR PENCIL initiative, a year-long mentoring and service-learning project. For more information, contact Rev. Roosevelt Ewell, 203-733-7246.
Greely—“Day of Caring.” On Saturday, September 12, over 200 volunteers will be serving on 25 projects for nonprofit organizations through the United Way of Weld County. The projects will range from landscaping to painting, cleaning to construction. A celebration the evening before will recognize the Day of Caring volunteers and kick-off the 2009 United Way County Wide Campaign. For more information, contact Dan Dunlap, 303-236-2034.
Lewes and Wilmington—“Invasive Species Education and Eradication” will engage volunteers in four projects including invasive species education and eradication, as well as preservation work at Fort Miles World War II historic site and Weldin historic site. For more information, contact Erastus Mong'are, 302-255-9739 or 302-299-7215.
District of Columbia
Washington—Mayor Adrian Fenty will lead more than 2,000 volunteers through more than 65 projects organized by Serve DC and Greater DC Cares. The projects include one with the VA Medical Center to honor veterans by capturing stories for the Veterans' History Project, creating gifts for the residents, cleaning vehicles used to transport the veterans, and beautifying the center's grounds. Read more.
Port Charlotte—“United We Serve” RSVP of Charlotte County and FL Gulf Coast University VISTA project are planning an orientation for new elementary school volunteers, as well as a Rememberance Ceremony for the victims, survivors, and heroes of 9/11. For more information, please contact Suzanne Richards, 407-648-6117, ext. 5.
Atlanta— The Atlanta-Fulton County library system is conducting a Children's Letter-Writing Campaign. Children will be given an opportunity to practice their writing skills by composing letters to children of deployed military personnel. About 60 Volunteers will help by preparing supplies, overseeing the activity and collecting the letters, which will be given to military officials for delivery.Volunteers will also read to children. For more information, contact Courtney Bernardi, 404-679-1738.
Asan—“9/11 Candlelight Vigil.” The Guam Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, AmeriCorps programs, and the Office of Guam Governor Felix Camacho, will gather more than 150 people for a vigil at the Chamorro Village in the island's capital, Hagatna. The event will feature a presentation by Shawn Gumataotao representing Governor Camacho. For more information, contact Jon Junior Calvo, 671-689-5662.
Honolulu—“2009 Freedom Walk.” More than 1,500 participants are gearing up for this annual free and nonpartisan community event that is open to the general public. The 1.2 mile walk takes place at the Navy ball field by Valkenburg and Main Street. City Parks and Recreation Director Lester Chang will be delivering a speech on behalf of Mayor Mufi Hannemann. For more information, contact Eva Laird Smith, 808 469-7427.
Boise—“Idaho Salmon and Steelhead Days” takes place September 9-11 at the Idaho Fish and Game headquarters. Governor Butch Otter will participate. The event celebrates the significance of salmon and steelhead. Over 2,000 5th graders, parents, and teachers will attend and learn about salmon through hands-on activities. The public is also invited to a Salmon Barbecue. Read more.
Chicago—Governor Pat Quinn joins the White Sox for a day of service September 10 at a high school on the south side of Chicago, starting with a rally at White Sox Park. This is followed by a day of painting and refurbishing the high school. For more information, contact Scott Reifert, 312-674-5302.
Indianapolis—“Eighth Annual Community Fair.” The City of Indianapolis and the United Way of Central Indiana will co-host the eighth Community Fair on Monument Circle where local nonprofit agencies will educate the public about their missions and promote upcoming volunteer opportunities. For more information, visit http://www.uwci.org/ or contact Alan Witchey, 317-921-1366.
Little Sioux—New York City firefighters, including survivors of the 9/11 attacks, will serve shoulder-to-shoulder with Boy Scouts, their families, and other volunteers to erect a chapel at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch, where a tornado that struck last year killed four teenaged Scouts. Read more.
Kansas City—Heartland Habitat for Humanity will host several house builds, including exterior house painting and landscaping. Also, there will be preparations made for Heartland HFH's ReStore Store, including re-positioning merchandise, recycling materials, and creating merchandize displays. For more information, contact Tom Lally, 913-342-3047.
Lancaster—“Invasive Plant Awareness Month Activity.”Governor Steve Beshear has declared September to be Invasive Plant Awareness Month.To mark the occasion, Weed Eradication Day will be held at the Sally Brown Nature Preserve on Saturday, September 12.Participants are invited to enjoy breakfast before removing invasive plans along trails. Read more.
Mandeville—“Operation We Care.” Volunteers will staff tables outside of local stores to solicit items for the troops including snacks and toiletries. Other volunteers will make thank you cards to include in the boxes of collected items to be mailed to the troops. For more information, contact Pam Olson, 225-389-0473.
Bangor—Community volunteers and Senior Corps and AmeriCorps members will join Governor John E. Baldacci and filmmaker Aron Gaudet to create a picnic area and urban garden for families that are transitioning out of homelessness at the Park Wood Transitional Housing area in Bangor. Read more.
Baltimore—Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake is launching an exciting build called 9/09/09 – 9 new, modular row houses to be completed in 9 days, starting September 9. On Friday, September 11, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley will be honoring the spirit of service and volunteerism at the build site. For more information, contact Mike Mitchell, 443-928-8867. Read more.
Boston—Volunteers will gather on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to stuff packages and write letters to military personnel serving overseas and to donate items for the Massachusetts Military Heroes' Fund Basic Needs Program, which is building two homes for Bay State veterans. Read more.
Statewide—The Michigan Community Service Commission has teamed with several mid-Michigan area high schools to “tackle hunger” by collecting food at area high-school football games. Ten Mid-Michigan area high schools are participating in the effort: Lansing Catholic, East Lansing, Haslett, Williamston, Eaton Rapids, Holt, Charlotte, Dewitt, Perry and Corunna. Food will be donated to area food banks. For more information, contact Janice Harvey, 517-335-4295.
Minneapolis—Rebuilding Together Twin Cities hosts “Energy Efficiency Outreach Project,” which will bring together 100 volunteers to assemble Energy Efficiency Outreach Bags and deliver them to more than 500 households in the Windom Park neighborhood. Neighbors will be informed of services and energy efficiency resources. Volunteers may also engage in a Neighborhood Cleanup Project around a park or community center. Read more.
Hattiesburg— R3SM (Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi) will renovate an historic 10,000 square foot boarding house that will be transformed intoa volunteer housing center and administrative office with the help of local volunteers, staff and AmeriCorps members from the Mississippi Commission on Volunteer Service, members from the AmeriCorps NCCC Southern Region campus, and the CNCS State Office. For more information, contact Fanya Johnson, 601-544-5115. Read more.
Jefferson City—Governor Jay Nixon will be on hand for an event honoring the memory of the victims of 9/11 as well as honor the heroes who protect their communities each day. The event, at the Missouri State Capitol, is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Missouri Community Service Commission and will raise funds for military families. It will also provide families, friends and neighbors with supplies to keep safe in a disaster until help arrives. The American Red Cross will also sponsor a blood drive on the 3rd floor of the Capitol Rotunda. For more information, contact Linda Thompson, 573-751-5012.
Statewide—The Montana State Commission will launch “Serve Montana,” a website where everyone from across the state will be encouraged to visit and pledge to serve in the coming year. Governor Brian Schweitzer will participate in a press conference. AmeriCorps and Senior Corps volunteers will be at various locations with computers to collect “pledges to serve” from neighbors. Read more. For more information, contact Andee Dunick, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bellevue—Sarpy County Citizen Corps Disaster Preparedness Fair will involve local, state and federal partners in emergency planning and response on September 13. Agencies will offer tips and provide information on how to prepare for a disaster. Free to the public. For more information, contact Curtis Rainge, 402-593-4366.
Statewide—The Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada has issued a call on local schools, businesses, families, groups, and individuals to participate in “Thoughts and Wishes for Our Troops.” Nevadans are asked to work together on September 11at their schools, workplaces, and homes to create banners or write cards to U.S. troops overseas. Completed cards and banners should be brought to the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada by September 14. For more information call 702-737-3100.
Manchester and Nashua—Volunteers will collect and bag 7,000 dental supply kits for school children in Manchester city schools. Other volunteers will knit and collect mittens, hats and other vital winter wear for homeless and low-income residents. For more information, contact Dee Martin, 603-668-8010 Ext 6022.
Ewing—AmeriCorps members and the New Jersey AmeriCorps Bonner Leader Recovery Program will partner with Mercer Street Friends Food Bank to help sort food donations received from the community and will prepare personal hygiene projects for distribution to low-income individuals and families. Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells is scheduled to speak at the event. For more information, contact Christen Foell, 609-924-6663.
Las Cruces—On September 10, 500 youth and practioners will gather to discuss strategies to increase high school graduation rates by focusing on the America's Promises and the five focus areas of the New Mexico Children's Cabinet. Several service events will be offered for participants on September 11. For more information, contact Greg Webb, 505-841-4837.
New York City—Among dozens of projects across the city, volunteers will revitalize Jenny's Garden in Riverside Park and join in literacy projects with students at the A. Philip Randolph School. In the evening, a celebrity-studded tribute to 9/11 victims and heroes at the Beacon Theatre organized by MyGoodDeed and ServiceNation will feature Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, elected officials, actor Gary Sinise, talk-show host Jimmy Fallon, the Harlem Boys and Girls Choir, and singer-songwriters John Ondrasik, Gavin DeGraw and The Roots, among others. Read more.
Statewide—More than 500 AmeriCorps members and volunteers will serve with Little Heroes Family Connection to collect and assemble “Connection Packages” for children whose parents or family members are deployed overseas. The packages will include a personal thank-you note written by an AmeriCorps member to the child. The AmeriCorps members will deliver the packages to local National Guard Armories after the packages are assembled. For information, contact Erica Rafferty, 919-733-5612.
Bismarck—The RSVP of Central North Dakota and North Dakota State Uuniversity VISTA will join forces to sponsor an event with musical performers at Custer Park in Bismarck. The event is free but those attending are asked to bring new underwear to be donated to homeless people. For further information, contact Debra Schiefelbein, 605-224-5996.
Kent—“Donations through Generations,” Senior Corps volunteers will collect and sort donations to be dropped off at the Freedom House and the USO location in Streetsboro. For more information, contact Mandy Zantow, 330-298-2666.
Oklahoma City—Putnam City West High School's Hispanic Student Club and Student Council Service Learning Group will team up to do a service project at the school. Students will pull weeds, plant flowers, paint benches, and plant a tree in remembrance of September 11. Contact Dana Fisher (media), 202-262-6769 or Melanie Pealor (project site), 405-550-5229.
Roseburg—“Honoring Our Hometown Heroes.” As many as 400 people are expected to be on hand to wash three buses for the local VA Healthcare System and replace flags along the Avenue of Flags. Thank you cards will be delivered to county rural fire departments and police officers. The day will end with a barbecue where war veterans will serve fire fighters and police officers. On Sept 9, Douglas County Commissioner Joe Laurance will read a Proclamation at a Commissioners' Meeting proclaiming 9/11 a Day of Service and state our appreciation to “Hometown Heroes.” For more information, contact Sharon Gavin, 503-725-5998.
Philadelphia—“PhillyServes Day Volunteer Fair.” Mayor Michael Nutter and over 85 organizations will participated in a fair that will offer Philadelphians the opportunity to learn how these organizations are making a difference and to sign up to help. The mayor, along with Global Citizen and MLK365, will host the Volunteer Fair in City Hall Courtyard from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Mayor and volunteers will give away thousands of free children's books to parents of young children. Read more.
Olneyville—Serve Rhode Island will participate in launching VetTech, a multi-service program that depends on computer donations from the community. VetTech will be accepting working computer donations, including monitors, hard drives, keyboards and laptops, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Those interested in donating can bring their items to the Citizens Parking Lot on San Souci Dr. in Olneyville. For more information, contact Susan Contreras, 401-421-4722.
Statewide—“Restoring Carolina through Youth Service Day.” Partnering with young people who are in the juvenile justice system, AmeriCorps members will serve in a variety of projects on September 12, including garden beautification, food and clothing collections, and working with homeless and hungry people. For more information, contact James Bibb, 803-556-6463.
Sioux Falls—Fifteen AmeriCorps VISTA members, site supervisors, and community volunteers will be volunteering at the St. Francis House to prepare and serve meals to community residents. Fifty participants are expected. For more information, contactDaniel Prendable, 605-336-7536 Ext. 216.
Nashville—More than 200 United Way volunteers are expected to sort at least 10,000 donated food items at Nashville's Sommet Center in the morning, then distribute the donations to 23 local agencies in the afternoon. Read more.
Austin—This year's theme speaks to the importance of community service and philanthropy.United Way connects the philanthropic community with local nonprofit organizations to make a lasting impact on critical issues that affect the community, particularly in the areas of education, health, financial stability and the environment.For more information, contact Nicole Watson, 512-287-2017.
Salt Lake City— Those who volunteer and track their service hours between June 22 and Sept. 11 at http://volunteers.utah.gov/ have been entered into a competition to have lunch with Lt. Governor Greg Bell. The winner will be announced on September 11 and will receive Presidential Service Awards. For more information, contact Shar Lewis, 801-538-8664.
Statewide—The Vermont Commission on National and Community Service and Vermont Department of Health will hold a volunteer recruitment drive for the Vermont Emergency Response Volunteer (VERV) registry from September 7 to 11. The drive will consist of outreach events in two regions of the state, focused on informing people regarding the importance of being VERV ready and assisting people who would like to register to volunteer in an emergency. The events will culminate on 9/11 to honor Americans from across the country who came together to lend a hand to the nation in a time of need.Vermont Governor Douglas has signed a proclamation encouraging all Vermonters to make 9/11 a day of service and remembrance. For more information, contact Emily Trantman, 802-241-4244.
Charlottesville—Volunteers will be clearing the trail along Pollock's Branch Creek, which runs behind the South First Street neighborhood from Elliot Ave. to Jordan Park. Volunteers will be joined by Congressman Tom Perriello in their service. For more information, contact Hollie Hatcher, 804-726-7644.
Seattle—The United Way of King County is marshalling 9,000 volunteers, including 4,000 Microsoft employees, who will serve on projects ranging from habitat restoration and neighborhood cleanups to renovating a child care center. Read more.
Statewide—Individuals and organizations around the state are encouraged to collect non-perishable food items leading up to the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Designated collections points will be available on the National Day of Service and Remembrance. For further information, contact Kim Tieman, 304-558-0111.
Hurley—Gov. Jim Doyle is scheduled to attend assemblies on service-learning for students in 9-12 grades in the Hurley School District, co-hosted by University of Wisconsin Extension 4-H VISTA members. The assemblies will feature age appropriate messages to motivate the students to engage in service-learning and encourage students to indentify needs that they would like to work on in their community. In the weeks following the assemblies, the students will canvass their neighborhoods to further identify community needs so that they can create their own service learning activities. Read more.
Casper—At the Wyoming Hunting & Fishing Heritage Expo, 15,000 people will gather to learn and participate in opportunities that communicate the importance of wildlife and habitat management, teach outdoor skills, and encourage ethical behavior and stewardship. For more information, Rachel Chadderdon, 307-234-3428.