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5 min read

8 Ways to Honor the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 by Giving Back

September 9, 2021

Grandfather and grandson gardening

This 20th Anniversary of 9/11 is a time to pause and remember those who lost their lives in the 2001 tragedy, and to honor their memories by coming together to do good as a nation. From volunteering, supporting charities through donations of goods or cash, and simply by being kind to others, there are many ways to get involved.

Join forces with millions of others around the country to do good in your communities on 9/11 this year. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Find New Ways to Get Involved

In honor of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, VolunteerMatch partnered with AmeriCorps to develop a robust search tool to help people find ways to give back in their communities.

“The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, which was spearheaded by the families of the 9/11 victims to honor their loved ones, allows us to turn a day of tragedy into a day of action,” said Acting CEO Mal Coles, AmeriCorps. “Right now, in the midst of a pandemic, we need that spirit more than ever. If there was ever a time our country needed to show resilience and unity, it is now.”  

Through the tool, you can explore a wide variety of opportunities across the U.S. from VolunteerMatch; AmeriCorps; California Volunteers, Office of the Governor; Idealist; JustServe; MENTOR; and Volunteer.gov. See how you can honor 9/11 by volunteering today.

2. Do a Good Deed and Inspire Others

In remembrance of 9/11, commit to doing one good deed and be a contributor to millions of good deeds globally as part of 911day.org. Then bring some light into our communities when we need it most by sharing your good deeds on social media using #911day. You’ll inspire friends to join you. Find even more ways to be of service by searching for causes you are passionate about.

3. Pledge to #BeKind21

Bring some joy to others by doing something kind. According to research from Born This Way Foundation with young people ages 13 to 24 in the U.S., 94% say little acts of kindness can make a big difference in mental health. That’s why we’re excited about partnering with Born This Way Foundation’s #BeKind21 campaign. Make kindness a habit by committing an act of kindness each day starting today through September 21st. Invite your friends, coworkers, classmates, or neighbors to join you. Take the pledge now!

4. Tutor, Mentor or Be of Service to Students in Your Community

VolunteerMatch has joined forces with the CAA Foundation, MENTOR and AmeriCorps — along with a host of amazing partners all focused on increasing volunteer engagement in the areas of mentoring and tutoring — to help students who have suffered learning and relational losses exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Whatever your background, everyone has something to give when it comes to teaching. Visit volunteermatch.org or getreadyset.org to join the movement and explore ways to get involved. 

5. Help Communities Impacted by Hurricane Ida

We’re still seeing the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ida and there are several ways you can give back:

  • Make a donation: You can give a $10 donation to the Red Cross by texting the word IDA to 90999, which will provide the support needed to help with the recovery efforts.
  • Give Blood: If you live in an area that wasn’t affected by the hurricane, you can schedule an appointment to give blood via the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).
  • Volunteer: Become a Red Cross volunteer by going to redcross.org/volunteertoday

6. Support Veterans and Their Families

Show gratitude and appreciation to our nationʼs veterans for their service by volunteering with Soldiers’ Angels to support deployed service members, their families, and veterans in need.

7. Give Back Locally

Take a walk or drive through your neighborhood and find ways to give back through community-based Guides in Apple Maps. Available in 20 major metropolitan areas, VolunteerMatch Guides feature local in-person and virtual service opportunities at your fingertips. Explore ways to give back by accessing the VolunteerMatch Guides on iPhone, iPad or Mac here.

8. Challenge Your Co-workers to Do Something Good

Get your colleagues to join you in sharing kindness. Make it a friendly competition among yourselves or teams within the organization, and encourage your organization to include donations as part of your program. Do a virtual sewing party to make something cozy or come together to fundraise for easy common access to low-income housing.


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Erin Halley

Written by Erin Halley

Erin Halley is passionate about making a positive impact and contributing to a better world. She has extensive experience in marketing from digital to events to tradeshows. Her background includes marketing for an international consumer electronics company, a leading national health advocacy nonprofit, a well-known healthcare institution and an arts non-profit.