The anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001 has become a day not only for memorial ceremonies but for service projects to benefit the community and those less fortunate.
Congress declared Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009, and across the country millions of people take the day to do good deeds.
In the Triangle, a nonprofit volunteer center called Activate Good matches volunteers with service projects on Sept. 11. Last year, an estimated 1,700 volunteers took part. Organizers hope to mobilize 2,000 this year.
Donating blood is one popular form of service on Sept. 11. In addition to regular hours at its donor centers, the American Red Cross is holding special blood drives that day at N.C. State University, Capital Bank on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh and at Jonesboro Presbyterian Church in Sanford. To find the nearest blood drive or donor center, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.
In Wake Forest, the monthly Art After Hours downtown will have a different theme and mission this Friday. Renamed “A Night to Remember, A Chance to Serve,” the event will begin with a ceremony at 6 p.m. in Jones Plaza. Local organizations will explain the volunteer opportunities they offer.
There also will be a canned food drive for Tri-Area Ministry and a supply drive for the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham. For a list of needed supplies and other information, go to nando.com/26g
And on Saturday, The Triangle Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Research Triangle Park to benefit The Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The foundation, which provides money to build specially-adapted homes for injured service members, was established in honor of Stephen Siller, an off-duty New York City firefighter who grabbed his gear and ran through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers, where he died on Sept. 11.