10th Anniversary Challenge Will Spur Service and Remembrance Activities Across the Country
Washington D.C. – Joining Congressional and nonprofit leaders at the U.S. Capitol today, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service Robert Velasco, II, announced the agency's plans to support a national effort to inspire millions of Americans to engage in service and remembrance activities on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.
The agency launched a 10th Anniversary Challenge that will make up to $500,000 in awards to encourage organizations to expand participation in the 10th anniversary and fund service activities for future September 11 Days of Service and Remembrance. The aim of this Challenge is to bring Americans together in the same spirit of compassion, unity, and service that existed after the attacks. Details on the Challenge are available at www.Serve.gov/September11.
Velasco announced the Challenge at an event on Capitol Hill showcasing bipartisan unity and support for the victims and heroes of 9/11 as families, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, military veterans and members of Congress from both parties came together to help stitch together The National 9/11 Flag damaged in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center.
“We will never forget that tragic day -- the innocent lives lost, the bravery of those who responded, and the remarkable spirit of unity and compassion that swept the country in the aftermath,” said Velasco. “We are asking Americans to remember the lives of those lost, pay tribute to those who rose in service, and honor those who serve our country today by engaging in service on the 9/11 weekend.”
Beginning in 2002, family members who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks began to seek a forward-looking tribute to honor the sacrifice of those lost and pay tribute to those who rose in service. They believed that engaging in service on the 9/11 anniversary was a productive and respectful way to honor those who died and create a legacy of compassion and action to help meet the challenges we face today.
Thanks to their leadership, the bipartisan 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act designated September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with supporting this effort across the country. CNCS is encouraging its network of thousands of grantees and other nonprofit, faith-based, educational and business organizations to organize and participate in service projects on the 9/11 weekend.
The flag stitching event was organized by MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network, the lead organizers of the nonpartisan, nonprofit 9/11 Day Observance. Joining with MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network to lead the 9/11 Day Observance are the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Business Civic Leadership Center, AARP and The Mission Continues. Organizers expect this year's 9/11 Day Observance to be the single-largest day of good deeds, charitable activity and service in United States history.
For the 10th Anniversary Challenge, CNCS will award up to $500,000 through approximately 10-15 awards ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to organizations that achieve the highest level of volunteer engagement. Service activities should honor those who died and those who have served because of the tragedies of 9/11, and include a time of reflection and remembrance. Projects should be implemented on or near September 11, 2011 and clearly be linked to the observance of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance. The submission period is July 14, 2011 to July 29, 2011. The CNCS 10th Anniversary Challenge is being conducted through Challenge.gov, the Obama Administration new portal for contests and prizes. More information is at http://sept11day.challenge.gov/.
In addition to the Challenge, CNCS will also be making funds available to all 52 state service commissions to increase their capacity to carry out 9/11 service and remembrance activities this year.