My 9/11 Day Story and the Message of Volunteering

9/11 DayDo you remember where you were on 9/11?

I remember where I was…. I was on vacation with my wife, a Canadian citizen, in Victoria, British Columbia. We had just gotten married and we were still delighting at the idea of being an “international couple,” truly citizens of the world.

We were due to head back to California that morning. Instead we listened, shocked, to the news, and watched one by one how some of the Victoria businesses around us turned off their lights and closed their doors for the day.

We realized not only that we wouldn’t be able to return to the United States that day, but that when we did it wouldn’t be the same place anymore. For us, the message of 9/11 was about a world that was rapidly changing before our eyes. We weren’t quite sure which parts of that world — which values, in particular — would survive.

For the last five years VolunteerMatch has proudly supported the commemoration of September 11, 2001, by teaming up with MyGoodDeed to bring volunteer opportunities to The idea is simple: through positive action in the local community we can remember the events of that day — those we lost, the heroes, the team work — in a collective and meaningful way.

For volunteers, there is no right way and no wrong way to do this: there are only actions you can take to make a difference where you live. And you don’t have to volunteer *on* 9/11. A big part of the message of today is to take a moment to discover the many ways you can be involved where you live for the rest of the year. It’s OK to sign up today for a volunteer opportunity later on. Just visit to get started.

For nonprofits, engaging 9/11 Day volunteers is a chance to further connect with your supporters, or else create new relationships with people who share your mission for change. It’s a window of opportunity. Just post your needs to your VolunteerMatch account at and we’ll do the rest.

If you’re already planning something for today, or if you have a story to share about 9/11 Day volunteering in years past, please post your thoughts below. We’d love to hear all about it.

Keep up the good work,

Twitter: @volmatchRobert

Photo from cliff1066 taken by Bill Biggart.