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Sarah Short
Sarah Short
Sarah Short's Blog

20th Anniversary of 9/11: A Day of Remembrance Through Service

On September 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked and used to carry out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 attacks, which triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency of George W. Bush.

This year will be the 20th anniversary of the attacks. Many organizations join together to help transform the anniversary of 9/11 into a day of worldwide unity and doing good in tribute to those who were killed and injured in the attacks, as well as the many rescue and recovery workers and members of our military who bravely rose in service in response. This year, thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds will participate in service projects on September 11. Service projects will range from food drives and home repairs to neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities. In many areas, volunteers will honor veterans, soldiers, or first responders by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank you letters.

You can participate in this day of service by joining a volunteer opportunity near you! Find opportunities across the country here or in Ohio through Get Connected. You can also start your own project! See below for some ideas:

  • Collect school supplies and deliver them to a local school (make sure to discover what they need first. COVID may have changed what schools need.).
  • 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.
  • Sign up to be a mentor or tutor (This can be done virtually).
  • Beautify a local park or community space – fall is a good time to plant trees and spring blooming bulbs.
  • Arrange a virtual visit to a senior citizen center or send cards to residents/clients of a senior center.
  • Check with your local fire station and see if you can organize a fall clean up or serve them a meal. 
  • Arrange a visit to a veterans’ center. You can also check with the center to see if they need personal care items and launch a collection drive.
  • Join your neighbors for a meeting to assess your community's disaster preparedness and take steps to support improvements.
  • Partner with your local fire department to install smoke alarms in neighborhoods with the highest incidence of home fires.
  • Help neighbors who could use assistance preparing their homes for the winter months.

Volunteerism renews and strengthens communities, families, and ourselves. As families continue to deal with challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that we don’t turn inward, but instead create common cause.

“Even if you just change one life, you’ve changed the world forever.” – Mike Satterfield


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