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How you can turn the 9/11 anniversary into a day of service

A volunteer from Ealing Soup Kitchen prepares food parcels for clients on March 30, 2020 in Ealing, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
A volunteer from Ealing Soup Kitchen prepares food parcels for clients on March 30, 2020 in Ealing, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

Soon it will be 20 years since Sept. 11, 2001 and the tragic terrorist attacks that surround that day -- and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long.

Lots of people are probably wondering how they can observe the anniversary, other than flying an American flag outside of their home or being a little bit more patriotic.

Why not turn it into a day of service?

Just like with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the anniversary of 9/11 can become a day in which you volunteer your time in whatever way you see fit.

So, if this sounds like something that is right up your alley, here are a few ideas on how you can give back on 9/11 and hopefully, make this a yearly tradition.


Do something for the military.

This is probably the most obvious thing to do, considering how our military had to spring into action following the 9/11 attacks. If you were in school post 9/11, you might remember making care packages for troops and sending them overseas. Why not do that again?

Twenty years later, we don’t have as many troops overseas, but there are still military members stationed at bases all over the country who would love nothing more than to have a care package show up filled with toothbrushes, deodorant, Kleenex, candy or gum.

The holidays are coming up, too, so that’s another perfect opportunity to send a care package. You can write members of the military letters spreading holiday cheer and send little gifts that they would enjoy.

All of this is a great way to give back to the people who keep us safe at home -- and you can do most of it from home. How easy is that?

Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Places that serve food or offer free clothing to those in need are typically looking for volunteers.

From organizing donated clothes to serving meals, this is a great way to give back.

If you don’t have time to be there in person, why not donate your used clothing to a shelter instead of trying to resell the items or just getting rid of them? You know they’ll go to good use.

Help clean up nature.

This is one of those acts of kindness that might go unnoticed, but for those who care about keeping the planet free of garbage and trash, this is always something that needs to be done.

Beyond helping the planet, this is a good excuse to get outside and get some quality exercise.

You can pick up trash alongside major roadways (while being safe), or perhaps head to a local river and pick up any trash you see there.


Like we said, this doesn’t have to be an all-out day of volunteering, but doing something nice for someone you know or even a stranger is a fantastic way to spend the 20th anniversary of 9/11.


About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.