PAST EVENT: September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance

“Each year, more and more Americans are recognizing that service to others is a fitting and appropriate way to honor the memory of those who were lost on September 11,” said CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer. “Service and remembrance can help rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that swept our nation after 9/11 to help meet the challenges we face today.”

The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of an effort originally launched in 2002 by 9/11 family members and support groups who worked to establish the charitable service day as a forward-looking way to honor the sacrifice of those who were lost and those who united in response to the tragedy.

On the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Americans will unite in service in the same remarkable way that so many came together following the attacks. There will be opportunities for hundreds of thousands of volunteers to paint and refurbish homes, run food drives, spruce up schools, reclaim neighborhoods, and support and honor veterans, soldiers, military families, and first responders. To find opportunities to serve during this year’s September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance, you can look for projects using the project locator tool. Or, to organize a service project in your area, find toolkits and other resources here.

Highlights from last year’s day of service and remembrance included:

  • The First Family served together at a DC Central Kitchen.
  • More than 200 Administration staff participated in service activities including Cabinet Secretaries and senior Administration officials.
  • A special 10th Anniversary Challenge was introduced, awarding $500,000 to secure a legacy for future September 11th Day activities.
  • More than 30 state service commissions received funds from CNCS to implement service and remembrance activities.
  • An unprecedented effort was led by MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network, engaging many nonprofit organizations, building substantial financial and volunteer support from the corporate sector, and partnering with CNCS. Their "I Will" Tribute movement set out a goal of making the 10th anniversary the single largest day of charitable activity in the nation.

Grants for September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is awarding grants to seven organizations to engage Americans in service during the 2012 September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The grants will support a range of service efforts including educating citizens on disaster preparedness, developing emergency plans, promoting fire safety, and building affordable housing for veterans and military families.

Grantees for 2012 are:  

Community Organizations Active in Disasters, Inc., Pensacola, FL

Community Organizations Active in Disaster, Inc. helps residents in the Panhandle make the best use of its resources in a disaster. The organization will host “Preparing the Whole Community for Disaster,” a project is designed to increase the number of residents in northwest Florida with disaster preparedness education through Youth Emergency Preparedness Expos and increase community resilience through food drives and disaster supply donation drives.

The University of Montana and 15 college campuses in MT, ND, SD, and WY

Over the next two years, the University of Montana will partner with Campus Compact and the American Red Cross to bring together college students from 15 campuses to train 2,000 people to prepare for and respond to disasters in low population areas and work with higher education institutions to establish emergency plans for on-campus shelters.

My Good Deed

The organization will host events in up to ten locations that are vulnerable to disasters and partner with The Mission Continues to engage and train recently returned veterans as volunteer leaders who will implement disaster preparedness projects across the country.

HOPE Worldwide

Hope Worldwide will partner with the American Red Cross and local fire departments in 20 states to conduct a national disaster preparedness program, “Protecting Our Neighbors”. 4,200 volunteers will canvass homes, host community fairs, and make school presentations to promote fire safety, including the value of working smoke alarms and having a personal or family fire escape plan.

Points of Light

On and around 9/11, Points of Light will provide families and communities with preparedness services in the form of training, resources, and planning to at least 25,000 individuals in ten locations in disaster prone locations including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas and Virginia. The goal is to increase the knowledge and coordination of the nonprofit sector in times of disaster and increase the number of families prepared to respond in times of disaster.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

This year, Virginia Tech will kick off a program on 9/11 to address underperforming schools in southwest Virginia by recruiting and training 400 tutors to be placed in school. The program will also recruit and train 200 emergency responders to address the declining pool of volunteer responders in the state.

Habitat for Humanity International

In locations across the United States, Habitat for Humanity will host more than 50 build events, including 13 funded by the grant, supporting veterans and military families by providing affordable housing for our nation’s heroes.

These grants are provided through the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which established September 11th as a national day of service and remembrance. The Act authorized CNCS to support service and volunteer activities to commemorate this day. The two-year grants range from $50,000 to $150,000 to implement future September 11th projects, focusing on three areas: capacity building, disaster services and/or veterans and military families. 

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Social Innovation Fund, and other programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit

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