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Honor volunteers and those lost on Sept. 11 through service

image of AmeriCorps 9/11 Day of Service graphic

Serve Washington invites you to join AmeriCorps members and volunteers across the nation in solidarity on or around Sept. 11 though service. This year’s theme is A Day to Remember.

We believe national service and volunteerism are key elements in helping communities thrive by helping communities meet critical needs. Our AmeriCorps programs do that. Each year, AmeriCorps encourages individuals across the country to celebrate and honor those impacted by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 by participating in a service project.

Last year, for example, Washington AmeriCorps members in Port Angeles held a candlelight vigil at a local park, with musical performances by a choir and bagpipe players, speeches and shared stories from community members, a flag colonnade and community art project. This example by no means illustrates all the service projects AmeriCorps members lead in their communities, but we do hope this small glimpse motivates you to serve in your own community.

Sept. 11 marks an anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history. Though 21 years have separated us from that tragic day, the emotions we collectively experienced often remain fresh in our memories.

Family members who lost loved ones during the terrorist attacks of that day have found appropriate and fitting tributes to honor those we lost. AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, helped families lead this endeavor. Serve Washington. This led Congress to establish Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009.

Here are some ways you can find a way to serve your community.

Find a project

Serve Washington has a free, online Get Connected tool where you can find and post volunteer opportunities. Organizations can use it to post their volunteer needs, while those interested in volunteering can use it to find projects in their local community that match their interests, ability and availability.

AmeriCorps has a list of 9/11 service project ideas for groups and individuals that vary in complexity and scale. A service project can be as simple as sending cards to residents of a senior center or organizing a neighborhood-wide food drive.  We hope this list gives you some inspiration.

While you plan your service project, consider becoming an AmeriCorps 9/11 Day Champion. Signing up is free and 9/11 Champions receive invitations to 9/11 Day planning webinars and more. AmeriCorps has also put together a customizable social press kit to help you promote your project.

Join or start a CERT program

Another way you can honor families impacted by 9/11 is by serving on a Community Emergency Response Team, CERT. Serve Washington works with city and county emergency management staff to coordinate CERT trainings. CERT teaches basic disaster response skills (such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations) that community members can use during large-scale emergencies, to allow professional responders to concentrate on more complex tasks. All trainings are free. You can find CERTs in your county here. If there aren’t any CERT teams near you, Serve Washington can help you start one. Contact for more information.

Share your service project stories

Serve Washington would also love share photos, videos and stories of your project. Make sure to tag us Facebook and Twitter and use #WeServeWA.

Together, we can lift each other up neighborhood by neighborhood, just as so many did more than two decades ago, united to serve.



Amber Martin-Jahn

Executive Director, Serve Washington