9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance 2016

September 11, 2016

In 2016, Points of Light hosted and participated in a wide variety of events that brought together military families, veterans, children, and volunteers to honor and commemorate the legacy of service that arose in the aftermath of 9/11. More than 15,000 volunteers joined in more than 30 community events nationwide.

National Mall

Points of Light, Volunteer Fairfax and Booz Allen Hamilton gather in the shade of the Washington Monument for a Volunteer Service Fair on Saturday, Sept. 10
Points of Light, Volunteer Fairfax and Booz Allen Hamilton gather in the shade of the Washington Monument for a Volunteer Service Fair on Saturday, Sept. 10

On Sept. 10, Points of Light’s Military Initiatives program, Volunteer Fairfax and Booz Allen Hamilton hosted a service fair on the National Mall in Washington, DC. With the Washington Monument as a backdrop, volunteers of all ages completed eight miniature service projects, each benefitting military service members or veterans in some way. More than 110 employee volunteers from Booz Allen Hamilton joined the project, and more than 100 additional community volunteers came out to offer their support.

A variety of projects provided an opportunity for all volunteers to find an activity they could enjoy. Some activities, like the retired veteran door hanger project, pulled on volunteers’ arts and crafts skills. Participants in this project painted designs on wooden door hangers to help decorate the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Others, like the doggy chew toy project, required patience for assembly based activities. This project produced fleece tug toys to support K9s for Warriors, a program that provides service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD.

Additional projects included, assembling fleece blankets to support homeless veterans, making paracord bracelets to be included in care packages to deployed service members, filling mini care kits to benefit military care givers, and creating flag pins resembling the American flag for active duty service members to wear on their clothing.

Daily Point of Light award honoree Jose Martinez (left), his wife Issa, and sons Jose and Isaiah
Daily Point of Light award honoree Jose Martinez (left), his wife Issa, and sons Jose and Isaiah

Points of Light also presented a Daily Point of Light award at the event to Jose Martinez, a passionate volunteer and veteran of the US Army. Jose was recognized for his work with The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that helps veterans who are adjusting to life at home find purpose through community impact.

New York/NYSE Bell Ringing

ServiceWorks VISTAs being sworn in on stage during the Opportunity Nation Summit.
ServiceWorks VISTAs being sworn in on stage during the Opportunity Nation Summit.

Alonzo Warren at the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 9, where he rang the Opening Bell
Alonzo Warren (second from left) joined 9/11 Day Co-Founder David Paine, Points of Light CEO Tracy Hoover, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer, 9/11 Day Co-Founder Jay Winuk, and Citi Foundation Senior Vice President Rosemary Byrnes at the New York Stock Exchange on Sept. 9, where he rang the Opening Bell.

A group of more than 70 ServiceWorks VISTAs from 22 host sites in 14 cities gathered in New York City to be sworn in as AmeriCorps members during the Sept. 11 commemoration. The newly anointed VISTAs then joined thousands of local volunteers and hundreds of Citi employees in a service project packing more than 500,000 meals for the hungry.

One of those VISTAs was Alonzo Warren who received special recognition for his achievements in the AmeriCorps VISTA program that brings positive change to the lives of opportunity youth and the communities in which they live. Alonzo joined Points of Light’s CEO Tracy Hoover, Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer, 9/11 Day Co-founders David Paine and Jay Winuk, and Citi Foundation Senior Vice President Rosemary Byrnes in ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday Sept. 10.

Finally, in the spirit of service, the VISTAs gathered at Citi Foundation to learn more about ServiceWorks fits into Citi’s Pathways to Progress initiative and the larger national service movement. This opened up the discussion about the important role that VISTAs have in serving the world, not just the local nonprofits and cities that host them.