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). Volunteermatch.org 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. FeedingAmerica.org 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