Today marks the observance of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, originally dedicated in 2009. The day, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), provides an opportunity for communities to engage in service as an annual tribute to those who rose up in response to the attacks 11 years ago. In preparation for this year’s commemoration, CNCS extended a grant challenge encouraging organizations to work together and expand their service activities. Grants were awarded to 13 different organizations, of which the Jewish Community Center of Mid-Westchester, Scarsdale, New York was one of three $50,000 grantees.
In honor of today’s observance of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, J-Teen Leadership and BBYO of Westchester partnered with other organizations to sponsor an intergenerational Day of Chesed (Kindness), Service and Remembrance, this past Sunday, September 9. Community members of all ages came together at the Mid-Westchester JCC to participate in different service projects including a Rosh Hashanah Holiday package program, clothing drives, as well as a sandwich brigade and boxed cereal collection. In addition to local service opportunities, organizers encouraged volunteers to donate to national drives such as Locks of Love, which collects hair donations to benefit children with medical hair loss, and to sign up for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Donation Foundation.The day of service, which brought many different Jewish organizations together, was a unique opportunity to sponsor community engagement and service for both adults and youth. Specific service projects for middle and high school students, concerts by local teenagers and simultaneous sports activities were successfully geared towards attracting young volunteers. Over 140 teens participated in the Teen Tribute, which included decorating cupcakes for local fire and police stations, making blankets for hospitalized children, and a lemonade stand to raise money for Sunrise Day Camp, a UJA-Federation of New York-sponsored camp for children with pediatric cancer.
Both J-Teen Leadership and BBYO are committed to empowering and inspiring Jewish teens of all backgrounds to engage in service, and their joint involvement in this year’s September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance allowed them to work together to forward this common goal.
To read more about the September 11th National Day of Service visit the Repair the World blog at werepair.org.