Submitted by Grettie vonVorys-Norton on 09/13/2018
September 11 is known as “Patriot Day” or the “National Day of Service and Remembrance.” It is a time when Americans honor the lives lost in the terrorist attacks of 2001 by coming together to volunteer and make our communities stronger.
Every day, young adults at America’s Service and Conservation Corps engage in service to our communities and public lands. On September 11, Corps often coordinate or participate in neighborhood volunteer events or activities to honor those affected by the events of 9/11/01. Here are just a few ways member organizations of The Corps Network participated in this year’s National Day of Service and Remembrance.
In Flagstaff, Arizona, Arizona Conservation Corps engaged with community members at the Flagstaff Food Bank. They teamed up with the Flagstaff Family Food Center to assist in food relief efforts for the Flagstaff community. This involved emptying, flattening, and crushing 10 small dumpster loads of recyclable materials and crushing 2 bundles of plastic and cardboard for food bank recycling program. Additionally, the Corps organized a food drive to benefit first responders and will be ongoing all month.
In Tucson, Arizona, another crew teamed up with the University of Arizona Mathematics Mentoring Program. They brought together the community in a full day of STEM related activities. These activities included: balloon racing, drawing with a swing, chemical reactions with eggs, and wind sculptures. This event opened with a few words by Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and brought together over 60 members of the community.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, AmeriCorps members with Louisiana Conservation Corps and SBP Baton Rouge teamed up to assemble over 7,000 emergency preparedness supply kits to ensure senior citizens are prepared for hurricane season. A crew with Louisiana Conservation Corps also built a wheelchair ramp at a retired firefighter’s home.
In Houston, Texas, an AmeriCorps Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI) crew with Texas Conservation Corps spent their Day of Service at the Indiangrass Preserve with Katy Prairie Conservancy. They worked to remove invasive Verbena brasiliensis.
Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, two crews helped facilitate the Pleasant Valley annual Memorial 9/11 Stair Climb. Over 30 firefighters with Austin Fire Department each climbed 110 flights of stairs, in full fire gear, to represent the height of the twin towers. The Texas Conservation Corps crews assisted the firefighters with putting on their gear and helped set up and breakdown the event.
In Clifton, Colorado, Corpsmembers with Western Colorado Conservation Corps worked towards advancing and restoring riparian lands. This project involved removing invasive plants, re-vegetation planting, caging plants to protect from predation, and general site maintenance.
In the City of Waukegan, Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI) AmeriCorps members participated in a full day of projects and engaged with local volunteers and law enforcement. Following a memorial ceremony at Fireman’s Memorial Park, a beach cleanup was conducted in conjunction with first responders from the Waukegan Police Department.