9/11 National Day of Service: A Teaching Moment for the Kids

This year marks the 9th anniversary of September 11th, the day we all felt complete helplessness as we watched events unfold. But because 9/11 was designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance by congress in 2009, we can at least grieve constructively. Families throughout the country will take time on September 11 to memorialize the day by caring for those in need.

Helping others is one of the most powerful ways we moms can demonstrate our values to our children, and we can even involve them in this effort. The 9/11 National Day of Service in Birmingham is a wonderful way to help the community and honor the 9/11 victims and their families.

Local resources and Ideas:

The best local resource for volunteer opportunities is the Hands on Birmingham website. This volunteer organization compiled several family-friendly service opportunities for this day of service and the list is available here.

Birmingham ArtWalk 2010 takes place the weekend of 9/11 and they also need volunteers.  This is an opportunity especially appropriate for families with teenage children.


Projects you can do from home:

(1)    Sort through gently used clothing or toys along with your children and deliver them to a local charity together.

(2)    Make Newspaper Rolls for the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.  Get the instructions on the GBHS website.

(3)    Visit the wish lists for several non-profit organizations like the Birmingham Zoo, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Pathways and the YWCA .  Discuss the importance of these groups, then purchase and deliver goods to these worthwhile organizations.

(4)    Discuss charitable giving as a family.  Consider an amount your family can give (including a portion your child offers from his/her allowance) and then discuss and decide as a family where you would like to donate those precious funds.  Remember – all donations of any size can make a difference.

These, of course, are simply suggestions.  Birmingham Moms are very creative and I expect you have additional ideas for volunteerism.  Please feel free to share your ideas in our comments.  Further, if you know of an organization seeking volunteers for the 9/11 Day of Service, let us know.  We’ll amend this article to include them.

Note:  If you do a  search for 9/11 activities, you will no doubt find the 9/11 Day of Service website.  Although this site is supposed to list local opportunities, it is a new site and, as of now, it only lists a few health organizations in Birmingham. After calling those organizations, we discovered that they actually do not have  formal plans for the day, so we wouldn’t rely on this online resouce this year.

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