First Family Serves as Part of September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance
(Washington D.C.) -- The tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks will be marked by service projects in all 50 states, with hundreds 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, soldiers, military families, and first responders.
President Obama and his family were among those observing the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, as the first family helped prepare meals to be distributed to needy families at the DC Central Kitchen after visiting Arlington National Cemetery earlier today.
“In the days to come, I ask all Americans to join together in serving their communities and neighborhoods in honor of the victims of the September 11 attacks,” the President said in a proclamation for Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance issued yesterday. “Today and throughout the year, scores of Americans answer the call to make service a way of life -- from helping the homeless to teaching underserved students to bringing relief to disaster zones.”
The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of an effort originally launched in 2002 by 9/11 family members and support groups, who worked to establish the charitable service day as a forward-looking way to honor the 9/11 victims, survivors and others who rose in service in response to the attacks.
In 2009, Congress designated September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with supporting this effort across the country. For the tenth anniversary, CNCS, MyGoodDeed, and HandsOn Network are leading an effort to organize one of the largest days of charitable service in U.S. history.
Those interested in serving on September 11 can find volunteer opportunities and do-it-yourself project ideas for September 11 by visiting Serve.gov.
“All of us remember where we were that dark day ten years ago, and how each of us wanted to help our country and our fellow citizens in any way we could, “ said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of CNCS, who helped assemble care packages for homeless veterans this morning. “The extraordinary response to the call to serve on September 11th reminds us that service is central to who we are as Americans and can help rekindle the spirit of compassion and patriotism that united our country a decade ago.”
Thousands of projects are taking place across the country, ranging from food drives and school beautification to disaster preparation and neighborhood cleanups, with many focused on supporting veterans, soldiers, military families, and first responders. Below is a sample of projects taking place across the country:
· Alabama: Volunteers will join Governor Robert Bentley to promote emergency preparedness by giving away first-aid kits and flashlights on “Be Ready Day.”.
· Alaska: For the Memorial Stair Climb in Juneau, Capital City Fire and Rescue will climb 110 stories as a tribute to their fallen brothers, with each climber carrying a photo and biographical sketch of a firefighter lost on September 11, 2001. For more information, click here or contact Brian Long, 907-723-8827.
· Arizona: As part of activities across the state, volunteers will be installing fire alarms and repairing veterans' homes in Phoenix and building a playground next to Fire Station 128 in Mesa.
· Arkansas: National Service participants across Arkansas are joining with First Lady Ginger Beebe for the third year to read to children around the state in observance of the 9/11 Day of Service. The goal of the Together We Read initiative is to reach 30,000 children in schools, daycares, and afterschool programs, with each child receiving a book.
· California: The LA Remembers Coalition and the Volunteer Center of Los Angeles have organized a beautification and revitalization project at the Los Angeles Police Academy, which will include a ceremony honoring the victims of 9/11 and first responders, including the Los Angeles Police Department.
· Connecticut: The New London Homeless Hospitality Center will host volunteers to plant a community garden at a VA home.
· Colorado: Projects are taking place across the state, including XCcel Energy volunteers preparing a shipment of children's books to military bases and Serve Colorado and AARP Colorado employees delivering Meals on Wheels in Denver and Ft. Collins.
· Delaware: Volunteers and AmeriCorps members will make presentations to elementary school students to communicate the 9/11 history and to encourage them to volunteer in their community.
· District of Columbia: As part of three days of service engaging 10,000 volunteers across the Washington DC region, more than 200 staff from the White House and CNCS, including acting CEO Robert Velasco, will work with HandsOn Greater DC and US Veterans Initiative to prepare care packages for homeless veterans. On Sunday, Serve DC and Greater DC Cares will hold a 9-11 Anniversary Tribute and Service Day at Freedom Plaza, with projects including painting a 9-11 Remembrance Mural, assembling educational kits for students and writing honor cards to military families.
· Florida: For the 9/11 Tribute & Disaster Training Blitz, emergency preparedness trainings are planned statewide, including Broward County, Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville in conjunction with AmeriCorps programs. Click here for more information.
· Georgia: In Atlanta, Project Open Hand will host volunteers to package meals that will feed more than 5,000 clients. For more information, click here.
· Hawaii: Kauai RSVP will host volunteers to help aging seniors with basic repairs, maintenance, yard work, and installation of safety devices, such as smoke detectors, stair railings, and bathtub safety bars. For more information, contact the Kauai RSVP, 808-241-4479.
· Idaho: Serve Idaho is supporting the work of thousands of volunteers in 9/11 service projects throughout the state including a POW/MIA/September 11 ceremony hosted by the University of Idaho ROTC in Moscow, reading books to school children, and placing flags at St. Marie's Cemetery.
· Illinois: Chicago Cares and the Chicago White Sox are hosting more than 500 volunteers who will transform George B. McClellan Elementary School inside and out.
· Indiana: Through the Living History Program, the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, in collaboration with AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps Alums, will conduct interviews with long-term, in-care patients who are veterans at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.
· Iowa: Several Iowa communities including Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Lamoni, Ottumwa and Waverly are holding service projects, including Operation Stand Down events in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids to provide homeless veterans free services such as meals, haircuts, clothing, showers, medical screenings, employment assistance, legal services, sleeping quarters and benefits counseling. For more information click here.
· Kansas: The first Kansas City 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb will take place this year on the 10th anniversary of September 11th. Local firefighters will climb 110 stories to honor the 343 firefighters who perished in the Twin Towers. For more information, visit http://www.kansascitystairclimb.com/.
· Kentucky: For the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Service for Peace has partnered with Home Depot to revitalize six local firehouses in Louisville and New Albany.
· Louisiana: The East Jefferson Interfaith Clergy Association in New Orleans is holding an interfaith service project to beautify Kenner's Rivertown neighborhood including painting, landscaping, and restoration projects, followed by a meal of chicken gumbo—a symbol of common American and Louisianan citizenship.
· Maine: The Maine Commission for Community Service will accept service pledges from residents throughout the state, working with service partners to distribute and collect pledge cards statewide and providing tips for starting projects. For more information, click here.
· Maryland: More than 300 volunteers will come together at Fort Meade and build an entire KaBOOM! playground for children from military families from the ground up.
· Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Service Alliance and AmeriCorps members from across the state are partnering with the Recover, Repair, Rebuild Initiative and volunteers for a large-scale tornado cleanup in Western Massachusetts towns that were heavily impacted by the June 1 tornado. This initiative will include “Roots of Remembrance” – an undertaking to reforest tornado damaged areas by planting 3,000 trees in honor of victims of 9/11. For more information, click here.
· Michigan: An estimated 700 volunteers, including AmeriCorps members, youth and members of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities, will take part in projects including park beautification, vacant lot clean-up, food packaging, and writing thank you cards to U.S. troops serving abroad. Learn more about other 9/11 projects in Michigan by clicking here.
· Minnesota: The Minnesota chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is partnering with people of all faiths for a blood drive on September 11.
· Mississippi: Mississippi AmeriCorps and Senior Corps program members will pay tribute to military veterans, first responders and the families of military personnel. Learn more by clicking here. In Starkville, the Maroon Volunteer Center at Mississippi State and Volunteer Starkville host a two-day Habitat for Humanity build. For more information, click here.
· Missouri: The Missouri Community Service Commission will host AmeriCorps programs from across the state for a Red Cross Shelter Training with a 9-11 Day of Service and Remembrance Ceremony to be held the following day at the State Capitol. For more information
· Montana: Service projects are taking place across the state, including a school supply drive in butte, a care package collection in Great Falls, a disaster preparedness fair in butte, and more. Learn more by clicking here.
· Nebraska: FDNY firefighters, including survivors of the World Trade Center attacks, will raise the spirits of the survivors of the Little Sioux tornado and honor the scouts who perished as they work alongside young Scouts and their families to rebuild the Boy Scout Camp and erect a Chapel on the foundation of the structure where the four boys were lost.
· Nevada: Nevadans are being encouraged to follow the lead of Governor Brian Sandoval in signing a Nevada Volunteers Pledge to Serve committing 40 hours of service to helping others in honor of September 11th victims and heroes.
· New Hampshire: Projects include a community conversation and signing of "honor cards" pledging service to military members and families in Concord, and a food bank project and 9/11 Memorial Stair climb in Manchester.
· New Jersey: More than 400 students will participate in numerous service projects in the Montclair area such as park clean-ups; school supply drives for public school children; street sweeps in local townships; food collection and delivery; painting various local elementary schools; and sending letters to military personnel and their families to boost morale and show military support.
· New Mexico: The Cesar Chavez Foundation will host volunteers on September 10, 201 to attend a disaster-preparedness training by the American Red Cross and go door-to-door to educate their neighbor on disaster preparedness.
· New York: Volunteers will serve in dozens of projects across New York City, cleaning up parks, beautifying schools, creating care packages for military overseas, and more. Tributes will follow many of the service projects to honor those who perished ten years ago in the 9/11 tragedy.
· North Carolina: The Mission Continues will lead a renovation at the Beacon Independent Living Center, provide 32 homeless veterans not only with food, shelter, and assistance reintegrating into the community.
· North Dakota: Senior Companions across North Dakota are using the September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance to take the time to visit a veteran that has moved to a nursing home.
· Ohio: The Wood County Park District and volunteers will work at the W.W. Knight Nature Preserve in Perrysburg to help improve wildlife habitat and beautify Wood County Parks.
· Oklahoma: University of Central Oklahoma students, faculty and staff will plant 3,000 American flags in the ground by Broncho Lake on campus and will prepare a spaghetti dinner and share it with Oklahoma City metro firemen and women.
· Oregon: Volunteers in Portland will be planting, weeding, harvesting with County CROPS, an emergency food garden grown on underutilized Multnomah County surplus property that is being farmed to grow fresh, local, organically grown produce for hungry Oregon families.
· Pennsylvania: Volunteers in Pittsburgh will renovate the Southwestern Veterans Center and the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard, completing painting, repairs, and landscaping tasks, giving new life to the facilities and increasing the quality of life for the residents.
· Rhode Island: More than 500 volunteers with participate in two days of service, restoring and removing debris from the river bank of the Pawtuxent River and cleaning and painting classrooms and hallways of Gilbert Stuart Middle School.
· South Carolina: The United Way of Anderson County, AmeriCorps members and other community partners will host 9/11 projects including blood drives, banner signings, educational lectures, and a parade in honor of first responders and a remembrance walk. For more information, click here.
· South Dakota: RSVP volunteers and Foster Grandparents in Aberdeen will provide baked goods to local first responder in a show of appreciation for their service.
· Tennessee: Volunteers will help the Westminster Presbyterian Disaster Assistance repair and renovate a home in the Madison neighborhood that was affected by the 2010 floods. Learn more by clicking here.
· Texas: The Texas Rangers and the Volunteer Center of North Texas will host the third annual North Texas Volunteer Challenge as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance. This four-hour service project brings together people to raise funds for more than 1,700 nonprofit organizations that represent a range of causes.
· Utah: The Utah Commission on Volunteers has asked Utahns across the state to serve and thank active soldiers, military families, veterans, and first responders. In Cache Valley, volunteers will provide services to the children of military families to kick off an ongoing mentoring program in Cache Valley.
· Vermont: The Southwest Freedom Riders will stage a commemorative ceremony and rally to benefit Mt. Sinai Hospital's “Health for Heroes” initiative, part of a nation-wide benefit for the rescue workers from Ground Zero experiencing health complications.
· Virginia: Volunteers with Honor Flight Networks will greet WWII Veterans as they disembark the plane to thank them and welcome them to our nation's capital.
· Washington: Seattle Works volunteers will be renovating the YouthCare facility, a nonprofit that serves homeless and underserved youth, ages 12-24, by offering shelter and a wide range of services, including street outreach, case management, employment, and education. For more information, click here.
· West Virginia: ExploreWV, Volunteer West Virginia, and WVREAP are partnering to sponsor the inaugural Cache In Trash Out as the National Day of Service 2011 service project. The event will focus on cleaning up parks and recreation areas across the state.
· Wisconsin: Serve Wisconsin will work with 28 AmeriCorps programs across the state to conduct alarge commemoration ceremony and service project at Camp McCoy, including an art project in remembrance of 9/11. Other projects include working with volunteer centers around the state on preparing care packages for troops; cleaning up Lake Michigan, conducting community-wide personal care drives; and distributing disaster preparedness information.
· Wyoming: Habitat for Humanity of Laramie County, in conjunction with AARP of Wyoming, Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power and more than 100 community volunteers will recognize the National Day of Service and Remembrance by weatherizing a block of homes for low-income, elderly and disabled residents.