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September 12, 2013

9/11 Day of Service

IMG_0654Over the weekend, Reading Partners AmeriCorps members joined over 200 volunteers to build a playground for Aspire College Academy—one of our school partners located in Oakland. The mission was to build an entire playground, along with benches, greenery, and a new mural, in ONE DAY!

Volunteers arrived bright and early, ready for a full day of service.  Despite the unusually warm weather, volunteers kept their smiles as they dug, hammered, and painted their way to a beautiful finished product. Thanks to the work of this group of spirited volunteers, in partnership with KABOOM!, Aspire students returned to school on Monday morning to a brand new space dedicated to play.

Reading Partners Program Manager Katherine Koller led one of the teams responsible for building the playground. In reflecting on her experience that day Katherine noticed that while the building of an entire play structure did involve some hard work and brain power, the spirit of community and service made it worthwhile. “It was awesome to see the entire community come together and build something,” said Katherine.

Saturday’s event took on a deeper meaning for the volunteers, as many showed up to serve in memory of those who went above and beyond the 911_serve_300x250call of duty during the week of September 11, 2001. Starting in 2009, Congress designated September 11 as a national day of service and remembrance—marking the culmination of efforts launched in 2002 by 9/11 family members and support groups, who worked to establish 9/11 as a day of charitable service in honor and remembrance of victims, survivors, and responders of the attacks.

Throughout the entire week, Reading Partners staff and AmeriCorps members will be participating in service events in observance of the national 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. Here are some of the other service opportunities we participated in:

  • Dallas team members spent their September 11 volunteering at the Texas Fire Museum for a beautification/maintenance project. Dallas - 911 Day of ServiceVolunteers refreshed paint, maintained landscaping, and cleaned facilities.
  • In Sacramento, we will be partnering with Next Move—formerly Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center—on a landscaping project to create a beautiful and safe outdoor space for children and families to enjoy and discover nature.
  • Team Silicon Valley will be volunteering at the Veggielution community garden where a certain percentage of their veggies are boxed and sold at a subsidized cost to low-income families in the surrounding community.

With the tragedies of September 11 in mind, volunteers across the country have decided to make this a day of giving back—replacing tragedy with hope. We encourage everyone to continue this momentum and make your service last. Help your community stay vibrant and healthy. Be someone’s hero.

 

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