Nation Rallies Around First Official 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

Tue Sep 8, 2009 10:55am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Nation Rallies Around First Official 9/11 National Day of Service and
Remembrance
Thousands of Organizations and Hundreds of Thousands of Individuals Pledge To
Perform Good Deeds on 9/11 in Honor of the Victims and Those Who Rose to
Service





NEW YORK, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- With President Obama planning to formally
declare September 11th for the first time as a federally recognized National
Day of Service and Remembrance at the urging of the 9/11 community and
Congress, thousands of organizations around the nation -- nonprofits,
employers and faith based groups and others -- are already mobilizing hundreds
of thousands of Americans to engage in service and perform good deeds in
observance of the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  

Led by the 9/11 non-profit MyGoodDeed, 9/11 families and others worked for
more than seven years to establish September 11 as a National Day of Service
and Remembrance -- finally securing passage of legislation in April 2009,
within the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorized the creation
of the 9/11 observance.  Since that time, MyGoodDeed has organized an
unprecedented coalition of organizations that have come together to engage not
only Americans, but people from around the world.

Since its inception in 2002, supporters of MyGoodDeed have pledged to perform
more than a million acts of service, spanning all 50 states and some 170
countries and territories.  This year, tens of thousands have visited the
organization's website, 911dayofservice.org, since its early August launch to
pledge their good deeds.  Thousands have also posted their service plans for
9/11 at the federal government's volunteer service website, serve.gov.

In Huron, Ohio, Stephen Petrovich will place calls to emergency workers and
first responders to thank them for their service.  In Albany, New York,
Michelle Garcia and the Sisters of Omega Phi Beta Sorority will dedicate
themselves to serving the community during the week of 9/11, and to raising
awareness among the University at Albany community to get involved.  John
Henry and Ellie Labriola of Southbury, Connecticut set up a lemonade stand the
week before school began and raised more than $100 to donate to a school
uniform drive for other schoolchildren in need. In Atlanta, Georgia, Lillie
Love and her friends will put together and deliver goody baskets to fire and
police stations as a way of paying tribute to the first responders who worked
tirelessly on 9/11 and the days and weeks following. In Chicago, Illinois,
Tiffany Bohm and her classmates will kick off a semester-long service project
to collect 2,974 pairs of shoes, representing each person lost in the 9/11
attacks, to donate to a homeless shelter.  

MyGoodDeed was originally co-founded in 2003 by two friends, David Paine and
Jay S. Winuk, following the death of Winuk's brother, 9/11 rescuer Glenn J.
Winuk, an attorney, volunteer firefighter and EMT who died in the line of duty
during the collapse of the World Trade Center South Tower.  Since that time,
they have worked to build awareness and support for the idea. 

"After seven years of hard work and advocacy by the 9/11 community and many
others, we have finally achieved our goal of establishing September 11th as a
National Day of Service and Remembrance through broad, bi-partisan support
from across the country," Paine said.  "This year, we expect to inspire
hundreds of thousands more people to commemorate the day by remembering and
rekindling the spirit of unity that swept the nation in the wake of the
attacks."  

Added Winuk: "I will always remember 9/11 as the day that I lost my brother
Glenn. But I will also remember his sacrifice in service to others. As a
volunteer firefighter, he ran into the South Tower to help those in need,
instead of running for safety himself.  He inspired me to start this campaign,
just like so many stories of 9/11 have inspired others to give back to their
communities." 

In addition to the personal pledges of service and good deeds, corporations
and community organizations are giving back, and in many cases, actively
seeking volunteers who are looking to give back as well.   

In Scottsdale Arizona, the Mayor plans to proclaim 9/11 as a citywide day of
service. Arizona's 9/11 Remembrance and National Day of Service Event will
host four days of activities at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall from
September 10 - 13, including displays of The 9/11 Memorial Wall designed by
Lisa Vella of Scottsdale, Arizona, and the The National Unity Flag designed by
Randy Cooney of Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, local and national community
service agencies will be on hand to provide the public with information about
how to get involved to help those in need.

In Harlem, New York, employees of GlaxoSmithKline will educate more than 1,000
elementary school children and their teachers at the Harlem Children's Zone
about prevention of the H1N1 virus.  With the help of partner New York Cares,
MyGoodDeed will also sponsor two service events of its own in Harlem - where
more than 100 volunteers will come together to work with school children at A.
Phillip Randolph Elementary School, and another 35 volunteers will help to
revitalize Jenny's Garden at Riverside Park.   

9/11 Families Also to Engage in Service
For the first time, the annual "reading of the names" ceremony held each year
at Ground Zero in New York City will include volunteers as well as 9/11 family
members, in commemoration of 9/11 becoming a National Day of Service and
Remembrance.  Winuk, whose brother was post-humously awarded the 9/11 Heroes
Medal of Valor by the U.S. Department of Justice over the weekend, is one of
only three family members scheduled to speak during the ceremony.

In Boston, The Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund and Homes for Our Troops,
founded with the support of the families of 9/11 victims, will meet at The
Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston on September 11th for a Care Package
Packing Party, and to honor former Senator Edward Kennedy.  Organized in part
by Christie Coombs, who lost her husband Jeff in the 9/11 attacks, volunteers
are needed to write letters to service men and women overseas, pack care
packages and collect donations of clothing and other items.  

In Washington DC, there are more than 50 different service events planned. 
Among them, the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA), the leading private provider of
educational, recreational, social and religious support services to junior
enlisted military personnel and their families, will assemble 200 volunteers
at RFK Stadium on September 11th to support Operation Kid Comfort by designing
photo-transfer quilts for children of deployed service men and women to help
children cope during a parent's deployment.

"Organized service opportunities are available in all 50 states and across the
world for those interested in giving back on 9/11, which is absolutely
wonderful," said Winuk.  "But we believe that even a small gesture - a single
good deed - is all it takes to make a difference.  Simply put, anyone who
wants to give back on 9/11 or any day of the year can do so.  No deed is too
small."  

Star-Studded 9/11 Day of Service Commemoration Planned for NYC
To mark the establishment of the 9/11 observance and pay tribute to the 9/11
victims and those who rose in service in response to the attacks, MyGoodDeed -
in partnership with ServiceNation and with support from the National September
11 Memorial & Museum and the Corporation for National and Community Service -
has announced that it will stage a star-supported commemoration on September
11 in New York City.  The event will feature a keynote address from Secretary
of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as appearances by prominent political
figures including New York Governor David Paterson, New York Senators Charles
Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and performances by entertainers including
platinum-selling singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw, Anjulie, the Harlem Boys and
Girls Choir, Grammy Award winners The Roots and Five for Fighting's John
Ondrasik.  

MyGoodDeed has also announced that it will host an exhibit on the 9/11
National Day of Service and Remembrance under the Tents at Mercedes Benz
Fashion Week, where it will also launch an online auction for charity,
featuring donations from top designers including Donna Karan, Tracy Reese,
Carmen Marc Valvo, Phillip Lim, Vivenne Tam, Tommy Hilfiger and many others. 
More information on the auction can be found at
www.911dayofservice.org/runway.

Many national organizations have now joined in formally supporting
MyGoodDeed's effort as National Program Leaders, including AARP Create the
Good, America's Promise Alliance, BetheChange Inc., CauseCast.com, City Year,
DoSomething.org, StudentPIRGs, Points of Light Institute/HandsOn, the U.S.
Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center and Youth Service America.  Funding
for the initiative has been provided by GlaxoSmithKline, Target and the Jim
Fassel Foundation, along with AARP, Ambac Corporation and Keefe, Bruyette &
Woods.

About MyGoodDeed:
MyGoodDeed Inc. (www.911dayofservice.org ) is a national nonprofit
organization that led the successful seven-year effort, culminating in 2009,
to establish September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Today
MyGoodDeed oversees on behalf of the 9/11 community this historic observance,
working with many organizations to build public participation and support. 
The overall mission of the group is to honor the victims of 9/11 and those who
rose to service in response to the attacks by encouraging all Americans and
others throughout the world to pledge to voluntarily perform at least one good
deed, or another service activity, on 9/11 each year. In this way the
organization hopes to create a lasting and forward-looking legacy -- annually
rekindling the spirit of service, tolerance and compassion that unified
America and the world in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Contacts: 
Jennifer Burke: 203-405-1479; cell: 203-586-9769; jennifer.burke@911day.org
Kathy Kwon: 310-435-0812, kathyekwon@gmail.com

www.911dayofservice.org



SOURCE  MyGoodDeed

Jennifer Burke, +1-203-405-1479 or cell, +1-203-586-9769;
jennifer.burke@911day.org, or Kathy Kwon, +1-310-435-0812,
kathyekwon@gmail.com
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