In the days and months following the 9/11 tragedy, Americans at home and around the world came together, knowing that the things that divided us were smaller than those that united us. Despite divides, differences, and ideologies, we came together as a nation. We grieved as a community, cared for one another, and then set to work rebuilding and lifting our neighborhoods.
The heroism of trained volunteers and first responders inspired thousands of then-teenagers and 20-somethings to act. Many enlisted in the military during wartime and knowingly risked their lives to protect our country. Others chose to serve their country through volunteer or national service opportunities with AmeriCorps, aiding the injured, serving as family caseworkers, and helping those displaced from Ground Zero find housing and other services.
Julie, an AmeriCorps member with the NCCC program serving with a community of schools in Aurora, Ill., was flown to support recovery efforts after the 9/11 attacks. First in Washington, D.C. for three days, Julie and her team supported a Red Cross call center open to anyone with friends, family and loved ones in impacted areas. She talked with individuals in an effort to reconnect family and friends.
"Because of 9/11, I dedicated my life to service. Now I understand the importance of getting programs and policies in place to help volunteers get in there and get things done.”
-Julie, AmeriCorps Alumna
Julie and her team were next flown to New York City, where she spent two months as a case manager at Pier 94—helping people who had lost loved ones, lost homes, lost jobs. After completing her NCCC service, Julie returned to New York City to volunteer again, this time with one of 10 Red Cross centers – supporting the general recovery effort and managing cases.
9/11 changed her life.
Unite through Service
This year AmeriCorps asks you to continue honoring the heroes and those lost through acts of service.
One good deed can spark a passion and create relationships between communities and individuals that extend beyond this day to inspire a lifetime of service in all Americans. You can volunteer with your favorite nonprofit organization, donate blood, or band together with neighbors to help support students in local schools. Find a service project that reflects what matters most to you.
10 ways you can show up on 9/11 Day:
- Help others get vaccinated or find a testing location.
- Arrange a health fair or dental clinic.
- Donate school supplies.
- Deliver or serve meals to those at risk of hunger.
- Asses your community’s disaster preparedness.
- Check out the needs of a veteran's center.
- Sign up to be a mentor or tutor.
- Organize a park clean-up or create a community green space.
- Give your time to your local hospital or hospice.
- Visit a senior center and make a new friend.
Share your AmeriCorps volunteer or service story in the aftermath of 9/11. Also, tell us if 9/11 was the spark that ignited your passion to serve. We would be honored to share your story. Get in touch with our team to learn more.
Share your story. Use Your Voice.
Your service story is crucial to inspiring your neighbors and strangers, alike. Before, during, and after your day of service in remembrance of September 11, encourage your network by sharing your service project. Use social media to share the service project you’ll be participating in on 9/11 Day. Post your picture and videos on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter –don't forget to use #911Day.
As we commemorate 9/11 Day, let’s ensure that what unites us will always outlast what is trying to divide us.
How will you serve this 9/11?