In the 13 years since the World Trade Center was demolished in a terrorist attack, Sept. 11 has become a day of service for millions of Americans looking for a way to honor the dead. Congress designated Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under bipartisan federal law in 2009. Last year, 47 million people observed the day by doing good deeds. Those who choose to honor the day by helping others can share their story on 9/11Day.org and even dedicate their efforts to a victim who died during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Volunteer organizations around the country are helping citizens make a contribution on 9/11 and throughout the week. Nonprofit organization VolunteerMatch, for example, provides a search engine for people to look for volunteer opportunities in their area. In New York, there are a number of volunteers opportunities scheduled for Thursday's anniversary. In Union Beach, United Way of Monmouth County’s Rebuild NJ team will commemorate 9/11 by rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy. In Yonkers, Sort for a Cause is helping to collect medical supplies for people in poor nations.
People can also volunteer as a guide at the 9/11 Tribute center in lower Manhattan. Tours are led by two guides who work together to recount the history of the events of 9/11, share their personal stories and describe the symbolism of the 9/11 Memorial.
“Once you start to do tours and see the reaction of complete strangers you realize how powerful the 9/11 connection is from people from all over the world," an unnamed survivor of the attacks told the Tribute Center. "This is what keeps me motivated. I still find it amazing how my simple story can make a difference."
All for Good also provides opportunities for community service and volunteerism in honor and remembrance of Sept. 11, including preparing food packages to be delivered to over 550 isolated and homebound seniors.