National Day of Service

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National Day of Service

By Lisa Scarbrough

This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the day our whole world changed. Chances are, if you are reading this, you can recall the exact moment, sights, sounds, even smells, when you heard the news. What I remember most was the spirit of unity and the overwhelming desire to help others and find a way to heal.

In 2009, September 11th was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Here are some budget-friendly and easy ways you can help others:

1. Share a cup of Joe. For many people, it’s a lifeline to get their day started. Show a co-worker, friend or your neighborhood crossing guard you appreciate them with a nice cup of coffee or gift card to your neighborhood coffee shop.

2. Volunteer as a family for one hour a week (or longer if you like). lists volunteer opportunities in your area and those that permit children. Let your children pick where you volunteer then talk to them after about how they feel about the experience. Help them make the connection between their actions and the community.

3. Hold a food drive. Even one box of food can make a difference for a family. Pick specific items that are usually in low supply, like peanut butter, and collect as much as you can in a week. can help you locate food banks in your area.

4. Swap those old clothes. Times are tight, and moms are looking everywhere to save the household budgets. Share your old clothes with other moms who may need them for their families or themselves. Organize a clothing swap among your friends, neighborhood, church or school. Can’t find anyone locally? Join an online swap, where receivers just pay for shipping.

5. Cleanup the neighborhood. Take a walk with family or friends and pick up trash, weed eat, sweep, etc. to get the neighborhood looking good again. Offer to mow a yard for a neighbor who may be working extra shifts or a single mom who just can’t find the energy. Go a step further and help a neighbor with home repairs or get involved with a Rebuilding Together or Habitat for Humanity project.

It doesn’t take much to make an impact on your community, just the will to do something. Every single act has a ripple effect. Make your acts positive and honor the memories of those we lost ten years ago. Hug your families tight tonight, and may God bless the U.S.A.

Photo by Jennifer Spence Photography

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Reader Comments:


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By Miguel Tellez on October 12, 2011


My contribution to our Nation's Heroes and National Day of Service and Remembrance was to buy two soldiers their breakfast at Panera the morning of Sept 11th. They were ahead of me in line that morning and when they stepped away to fill their coffee cups I gave the cashier my debit card to pay for their meals. I found out afterwards that it was one of the soldier's birthday that very day. He told us that the reason he joined the Army was because of what happened in America on Sept 11, 2001.

By Gloria on September 13, 2011


If we all would just take the time to do that what a wonderful place this would be!

By lisa on September 10, 2011


Who could ever forget that tragic day! Every year since I go all out and make sure me and my family show our patriotism. we also have a moment of silence and a prayer for all those families who lost a love one. Every night since 9-11 I thank God for all he has given me in my life.... wonderful suggestions Lisa! Thanks, like always for sharing!

By andrea lepinske on September 08, 2011


Great article.. This is wonderful to help people get motivated. I donate to a womens shelter here in Memphis for women recovering from drug/ alcohol abuse with children.

By Candy on September 08, 2011


Our family does a "clean sweep" of the closets and takes clothes to the local beginning of school year clothing give-away. It has been an amazing experience to watch my girls learn the value of giving and charity. Thanks for posting about this on your truly is a gracious way to remember that day. -Shannon ps- swapping groups rock!

By Shannon Sporon-Fiedler on September 07, 2011


Great article! We are donating to King's Home- a home for abused women, men, and children in our area!

By Melanie on September 07, 2011


I am a mother of four and I have 2 boys in scouts and they will be having a cermony at Bethany Church tonight and another Sun. They get to pay tribute to those lives lost 9-11 by saying the Pledge and holding the Flag moment of silence will follow. I teach my kids on a day to day basis what it is to be a respectful, honest person(s). Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the familys that lost loved one's that day. May God Bless there hearts and the memories of their loves one's live forever, You can keep them in ur hearts and memories keep in your minds. We will all meet again! God Bless each and every one. CathyFaye'Blevins

By Cathy Blevins on September 07, 2011


With all the drama of day to day life it's easy to forget the things we should all be doing to help each other out! Thank you for the reminder and the great suggestions. Love reading your articles!

By Robin M. on September 07, 2011


Excellent article! Each of those things meet our human needs of emotional & physical, love it!

By Tirza on September 07, 2011


Great ideas! I especially like the idea of helping elderly or needy neighbors that can't get out of the house

By Jaime on September 07, 2011


What awesome advice! Communities are so important and so is saving money =)I can't wait to help my kids understand these concepts!!!

By Jessica Weaver on September 07, 2011


I, too, remember the sense of unity immediately after 9/11. I remember the stillness in the air because all air traffic had been grounded and remember standing in line for five hours to donate blood. Thank you for once again reminding us of the little ways we can each impact someone else.

By Pamela Meagher on September 07, 2011


I love all these ideas and coming from New Orleans where it was the "kindess of strangers" that help us rebuild I understand how important the day of service truly is.

By Tanya on September 07, 2011

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