September 11, 2013

Volunteer efforts to mark Sept. 11 anniversary

Organizations are doing everything from cleaning fire houses to working at soup kitchens.

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Thousands of volunteers will honor Sept. 11 victims on Wednesday with good deeds performed around the globe.

A couple look out at New York's Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center from Liberty State Park in Jersey City
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A couple looks at New York’s Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. on Monday. New York will mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center on Wednesday.

Reuters

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The anniversary of the terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people 12 years ago was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009. This year, a constellation of volunteer networks around the world will spread goodwill through volunteerism to honor those who died.

Public volunteer projects throughout the week in New York, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and other cities will convene at firehouses and fire academies to show gratitude for first responders by painting and cleaning the facilities.

In Boston, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund is organizing a care package drive for active duty military service members and homeless veterans. In Seattle, the nonprofit group Habitat for Humanity is organizing special interfaith building ceremony.

It's impossible to say just how many people will participate but thousands have pledged to perform a good deed on Sept. 11 on the website 911day.org.

"We get about 50,000 posts each year from people saying what good deeds they're going to do for 9/11," said David Paine, who helped found the day of service in 2002 with his friend Jay Winuk, whose brother was killed at the World Trade Center. "This week alone, we had 19,000 posted on our website."

People have promised to give blood, donate books, pass out blankets at shelters and volunteer at soup kitchens, among other things. One man flying from Los Angeles to New York is handing out Starbucks gift cards to the flight crew, Paine said.

"It's very inspiring, to be honest with you," Paine said. "Our goal all along was just that something good would come from the day."

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