Those closest to Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11 might remember two things: both a collective shaken faith in humanity and the amazing upsurge of grassroots goodwill.
Rather than feeling powerless on a day fraught with tough memories like 9/11, the urges us to tap into that positive energy that followed the tragedy over a decade ago.
Last year, the Volunteer Center had great success coordinating a county-wide day of service to mark 9/11, with all the added attention the 10th-year anniversary brought.
"What's more significant about a 10th over an 11th?" asks Volunteer Center's Director Alisa Keston. "365 days later the pain is still as painful, the memories are still as strong. We hope we have as strong a showing this year."
This year they have expanded a day to fill a whole week of activities for everyone, all ages and interests, and ranging across three counties of Westchester, Putnam and Rockland.
The planning started "probably the minute we finished the day of service last year," Keston said. "It's been all hands on deck. It takes a really tremendous effort of staff and volunteers."
Director of Communications Amie Getis spoke to all the effort behind the scenes, and what's it worth.
“Don’t let 9/11 be about the violence," Getis said, "but about the community.” The ultimate goal being, “we always hope people will form a lifelong connection to a nonprofit in their area. There are year-round opportunities to give back.”
The Volunteer Center pairs people and organizations with volunteering opportunities and real need. A complete list of the volunteer project descriptions for the 9/11 events and beyond can be found at www.volunteer-center.org. Register online or by calling 914-948-4452.
Many projects for the week are filling up, but there are still many left. Here's a sample itinerary from Westchester:
Sunday, September 9
Tuesday, Sept. 11
*Donate Books (and Create Cards) to Deployed Soldiers – Books to Soldiers, a new event in the line-up, 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Kensico Dam Plaza
*Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow is holding a patriotic blood drive – Honoring Heroes Blood Drive, in honor of those who lost their life on and since September 11, 2001, and those who continue to fight for our freedom.
Call Phelps Donor Services at 914-366-3916 for an appointment
* Town of Yorktown 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. at the Shrub Oak Memorial Plaza (adjacent to the ) on East Main Street in Shrub Oak
*City of Peekskill 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
6 p.m. Heroes Remembered Memorial, Riverfront Green, Peekskill. On Tuesday September 11, 2012, the Peekskill Fire Department will conduct a memorial service recognizing the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
All are welcome to attend.
Sept. 11, 2:30 p.m., Croton Landing, Croton-on-Hudson
Participants made up of citizen volunteers from the Task Force, supporters from the community and construction industry, first and second responders, family members of 9/11 victims, and public officials will gather in the Croton Landing parking area of the River Walk at 2:30 p.m. Led by a color guard from the local volunteer fire departments they will walk in procession along the half-mile pathway north to the site on the Hudson River. A van from the Village of Croton will be in the parking area to transport those who need a ride to the site.
*Lake Mohegan Fire Department 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
Sept. 11, 7 p.m., in front of the Jefferson Valley firehouse located at Hill Boulevard and Lee Boulevard (behind the ).
The public is invited to attend this brief ceremony.
Wednesday, Sept. 12
Thursday, Sept. 13
Food Bank Sorting/Packaging – Food Bank for Westchester, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Elmsford
Friday, Sept. 14
Saturday, Sept. 15
Art Project - Richmond Community Services, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.Yonkers