This year, the nation marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In partnership with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Pentagon Memorial, Flight 93 National Memorial, AmeriCorps, and leading 9/11 organizations, 9/11 Day has made it their mission to transform this year’s 9/11 into the largest national day of service in American history.
WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED AT PREVIOUS 9/11 NATIONAL DAYS OF SERVICE
Since it was founded in 2002, 9/11 Day has grown into not only one of the country’s largest days of service but has even become recognized by federal law as a national day of service. This grassroots initiative has inspired Americans to perform more than 250 million acts of service in observance of 9/11 Day. Today, more than 30 million Americans and others in over 162 nations now remember 9/11 annually by volunteering, engaging in acts of service, and performing good deeds.
9/11 Day centers its engagement efforts by hosting Meal Packs for 9/11 Day in ten major cities across the country including San Francisco. Over the past five years, these events have mobilized more than 25,000 volunteers to pack approximately 20 million meals for distribution by local food banks. The ease and impact of the Meal Pack events have made them a popular day of service activity for individuals and corporations alike. This includes much of the tech community and several sf.citi members who have sent troves of employees to the Bay Area Meal Pack for 9/11 Day including Salesforce, Twitter, LinkedIn, Okta, and Facebook.
However, like many aspects of daily life, the pandemic forced people to adjust the ways they can safely volunteer and support their communities. That’s why this year 9/11 Day will be highlighting virtual volunteer opportunities in addition to the traditional in-person options.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS YEAR’S 9/11 NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE
The goal of 9/11 day is to inspire a record 20 million acts of service and kindness in tribute to those killed and injured on 9/11, first responders, recovery workers, and members of the military community.
Help them achieve that goal by pledging to do one good deed on or around 9/11. A person’s good deed pledge can be any expression of unity or compassion: a simple act of kindness, a helping hand to a friend, a commitment to volunteer, a contribution to a charity. A moment to reflect on what’s most important in life. People can even do a good deed for themselves, like quitting smoking. In other words, any good deed counts.
To make participation in the national day of service easy, see below for examples of great ways to support and make an impact in your community. Then for even more volunteer opportunities, visit 9/11 Day’s website to explore the dozens of ideas listed.
- Sign up to serve or deliver meals to those at risk of hunger
- Work with a local food bank or pantry to collect or deliver donations
- Beautify a local park
- Ask your local fire station if you can organize a fall clean up or serve them a meal
- Arrange a visit to a veterans’ center or see if they need personal care items and launch a collection drive
- Donate blood
- Donate to your favorite charity
- Sign up to be a mentor or tutor
- Send cards to residents/clients of a senior center
- Thank local health care workers
- Advocate on social media for a cause you care about
Any good deed counts—no matter how small! Whatever you do, let 9/11 Day hear about it. While you are out there doing good on 9/11 Day, take and share photos and videos. Whenever you share, be sure to use the hashtag #911Day.
9/11 Day encourages all volunteers to follow COVID-safe practices while participating in in-person service activities including mask-wearing, appropriate social distancing, and frequent handwashing.
CONTINUE SUPPORTING YOUR COMMUNITY EVEN AFTER 9/11 DAY
The 20th anniversary will be a historic moment—not only to honor those we lost—but also to remind Americans of the importance of working together through service to help solve our nation’s problems. This especially rings true as the country currently experiences an unprecedented pandemic, an onslaught of natural disasters, and ever-worsening inequality. We hope you will participate in this year’s national day of service and find a way to support your community long after 9/11.