- Last Updated on 08:05 AM 09/11/13
- BY Paula I. Bryant
Today has been proclaimed the National Day of Service and Remembrance, a culmination of efforts originally launched in 2002 by the 9/11 nonprofit MyGoodDeed with wide support by the 9/11 community and leading national service organizations.
This effort first established the inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.
In 2009, Congress designated Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under bipartisan federal law, and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with helping to support this effort across the country.
For this year’s anniversary, numerous organizations are working together to implement one of the largest days of charitable service in U.S. history.
The 2013 Day to Serve is an annual event, running from Sept. 15-29. The overall goal is to bring people together to create or expand projects.
Project ideas suggested for Day to Serve include activities such as food drives, donating books and/or canned food to local libraries or environmental cleanup projects and asking communities to assess their needs while using Day to Serve as a call to action.
Locally, Staunton River Park and Staunton River Battlefield State Park held improvement project days Sunday and Monday with people in the community joining together to clean up sections of the river bank trail and to make other improvements which will benefit hikers, bikers and equestrian users.
We are blessed to have several state parks in close proximity to county residents, and these parks always are looking for volunteers to help run the parks, beautify them, develop and maintain trails, help conduct environmental education programs and manage their natural resources.
If you’re interested, you may volunteer as an individual or as part of a group for projects lasting only a few days or for long-term projects in specialized programs.
There are so many different ways to help that, regardless of experience and skills, park staff nearly always find a job that suits you.
And state parks are just one avenue for volunteering.
Soup kitchens, food pantries, building projects, nursing homes, hospitals and other civic and community organizations welcome volunteers to provide service that strengthen communities by addressing ever present needs.
So today in our community, pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 by reaching out to help others. Now is also the perfect opportunity to honor veterans, soldiers, military families and first responders.
For more volunteer activities and ideas, visit Serve.gov and 911day.org