WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Once again, Westchester County and The Volunteer Center of United Way are calling on those who live and work in Westchester to use volunteer service as a way to pay tribute to those whose lives were lost and were forever changed by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Across the nation, communities are participating in the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, with events that promote volunteerism. Here in Westchester, a variety of volunteer activities will take place from Sept. 9 to Sept. 15, including blood, book and food drives; art projects; trail and park clean ups; and veteran- and military-outreach.
On Sept. 11 itself, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., visitors to The Rising at Kensico Dam Plaza, the county’s 9/11 memorial, will have a chance to donate food and participate in projects to honor soldiers still stationed overseas. At 7 p.m., the county will hold its annual memorial ceremony at The Rising.
“Paying tribute through service to the community is the express wish of the families of the victims of 9/11,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “There are projects for everyone and we hope to attract people of all ages to give back to their community through these local organizations.”
Alisa H. Kesten, executive director of The Volunteer Center, agreed, “Selflessness, generosity, spirit and pride united us after that horrific day. With this concentrated week of projects this year, we hope to rekindle those feelings with positive acts of volunteerism to address local needs.”
Detailed information is available at www.volunteer-center.org/service and early registration is encouraged. Other projects will be posted in the upcoming weeks.
Presented below is a partial list of the projects commemorating the 9/11 Week of Service and Remembrance:
• Sunday, Sept. 9: Clay Art Center of Port Chester will host volunteers from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. as they create a 9/11-themed mosaic that will be permanently installed at the center.
• Tuesday, Sept. 11: There will be a food drive on behalf of Hope Community Services and a card-making for deployed soldiers, both at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Also that day, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. a remembrance quilt project will be created at the White Plains YMCA.
• Wednesday, Sept. 12: A blood drive sponsored by county employees and Hudson Valley Blood Services will take place at the Westchester County Center in White Plains from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. There will be a project to maintain the Cranberry Lake Preserve in Valhalla from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Saturday, Sept. 15: There will be a special presentation at the White Plains Public Library of New York Says Thank You, a movie premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival documenting New Yorkers’ views of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, followed by a panel discussion.
The Volunteer Center’s annual community-wide call to action for The 9/11 Week of Service and Remembrance is made possible thanks to the generosity of Westchester County, United Way of Westchester and Putnam, and Corporate Champions: New York Life, PepsiCo, TD Charitable Foundation, Belmay, Bunge, Con Edison, IBM, Mack-Cali, Reader’s Digest, The Dannon Company, M&T Bank, Robison Oil Company, Rollins Insurance Agency, The Journal News, Chubb, O’Connor Davies, RPW Group and Westchester Business Journal.
About The Volunteer Center of United Way – For over 60 years, The Volunteer Center has encouraged adults to serve, youth to build character, families to bond, young professionals to excel as leaders, mature adults to stay engaged and businesses to address community needs. An online database at www.volunteer-center.org matches volunteers to meaningful opportunities every day. Over 246,000 hours of service were devoted last year to 500 nonprofits at a value of over $7.5 million. In September 2011, The Volunteer Center was designated one of ten Regional Volunteer Centers in the State of New York, covering the Mid-Hudson Valley.
For more information, visit www.volunteer-center.org.