Hundreds of service projects to honor 9-11 victims’ memory and celebrate heroes
Washington, DC--Thousands of Americans will join together tomorrow to serve their communities in the same remarkable spirit of tolerance and compassion that unified the nation in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
This year's September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance will be marked by signature projects in six cities - New York City; Washington, DC; Boston; Arlington, VA; Los Angeles; and Philadelphia - and events taking place in all 50 states. Volunteers will participate in a range of service projects from emergency preparedness training and home repairs to neighborhood and school cleanups and assembling care packages for members of our armed forces. At least three communities will hold interfaith dialogues to help bridge the gaps of understanding.
The Corporation for National and Community Service and MyGoodDeed, a nonprofit organized by the family members of September 11 victims, are leading the national effort to encourage Americans to serve in their communities to honor the sacrifices made on that tragic day and pay tribute to our troops and their families around the world. The organizations created 911DayofService.org, an innovative site that identifies volunteer opportunities, and produced television and radio Public Service Announcements featuring Gary Sinise and Denis Leary to encourage Americans to adopt a cause and perform a good deed on September 11.
"This national day of service provides an opportunity to build a legacy of service that will help strengthen the bonds that unify our nation and renew our communities, families, and ourselves," said Patrick A. Corvington, the Corporation’s CEO. "On September 11, we remember the sacrifice and bravery of thousands of Americans, and through our service to others, today and every day, we honor it." Corvington will join First Lady Michelle Obama, veterans, active duty service members, and George Washington University college students in renovating a retirement home for Navy veterans in Arlington.
President Obama signed the Serve America Act into law in April 2009, designating September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and capping a nine-year effort by families of the victims. Marking the last year’s day of service and remembrance, the President stated it was an opportunity to "renew the true spirit of that day," and "summon once more that ordinary goodness of America - to serve our communities, to strengthen our country, and to better our world."
"The anniversary of 9/11 is always a very personal day of sadness for me and my family, but it can also be a day when the nation comes together to embrace once more the spirit of compassion that helped our family and the entire 9/11 community after the attacks," said Jay Winuk, who co-founded MyGoodDeed with David Paine and whose volunteer firefighter brother, Glenn Winuk, was killed on 9/11. "The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance will pay appropriate tribute to those who were lost and those who rose in service to ensure the anniversary of 9/11 doesn’t become just another day."
Partnering with HandsOn Network, the 9/11 Memorial, and Scholastic, the Corporation and MyGoodDeed have developed comprehensive educational resources that include lesson plans and videos to teach middle school students about the events of September 11 and inspire them to pay tribute by volunteering. More than 17,000 teaching guides and 30,000 printed activity posters will be distributed to middle schools across the nation. Teachers can download the education materials at 911DayofService.org at no cost.
Sept. 11 will culminate the Corporation’s United We Serve: Let’s Read. Let's Move., a summer initiative in collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama and five federal agencies to curb reading loss and childhood obesity. The agency has distributed more than 2.5 million books as part of the Let’s Read. Let's Move. initiative throughout the summer. Books will also be distributed in the six cities hosting signature September 11 service events.
Below are details on service projects in the six cities. Americans can visit Serve.gov to find a volunteer opportunity in their area.
- Students and volunteers will collaborate on project Revitalize PS 140 in creating a friendly and positive learning environment for students and faculty, as well as on creating Military Care Packages to send to men and women in overseas service. Volunteers include recording artist Jordin Sparks, actress Meaghan Martin, and service leaders.
- The Armed Forces Retirement Home will coordinate volunteers for work on maintenance projects around the community.
- George Washington University will mobilize more than 3,000 student volunteers to work on trash removal, planting trees, clearing storm drains, supporting veterans, and other activities.
- The Capitol Area Food Bank will engage hundreds of volunteers to help distribute food to the Washington Metro Area.
- With projects in every DC Ward, and suburban Maryland and Virginia, Greater DC Cares will mobilize more than 10,000 volunteers in variety of projects.
- United Way of Southeast Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia and various other service organizations, expects hundreds of volunteers for their 365 Days of Caring signature event.
- 5,000 Villanova students will collaborate on more than 200 service projects.
- Working with Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, volunteers will join Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino to assemble care packages for active duty service members.
In a push to promote active membership in the Boston Cares Emergency Reserve Corps,
- September 11 will kick off Boston’s six week Emergency Preparedness and Response Initiative with education and information sessions on their Honor, Serve, and Lead volunteer roles.
- The Massachusetts 9/11 Fund will honor the 206 victims with Massachusetts ties by the lowering of the flag and a reading of their names.
- Several city block of South Los Angeles will undergo a beautification process thanks to 150-200 volunteers from the surrounding area, and various city and state government officials.
- First Lady Michelle Obama will join with two hundred veterans, active service members, and student volunteers will collaborate to renovate the Vinson Hall Retirement Community through painting and garden work
- The Arlington Memorial 5K Race will take place in honor of the firefighters and police officers who responded to 9/11 calls.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service:
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
MyGoodDeed Inc. (www.911dayofservice.org ) is a national nonprofit organization that led the successful eight-year effort, culminating in 2009, to establish Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Today MyGoodDeed oversees on behalf of the 9/11 community this historic observance, working with many organizations to build public participation and support. The overall mission of the group is to honor the victims of 9/11 and those who rose to service in response to the attacks by encouraging all Americans and others throughout the world to pledge to voluntarily perform at least one good deed, or another service activity, on 9/11 each year. In this way the organization is helping to create a lasting and forward-looking legacy -- annually rekindling the spirit of service, tolerance and compassion that unified America and the world in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. More than one million people from all 50 states and more than 165 nations participate annually in service activities in observance of 9/11.