9/11 National Day of Service

On September 11, 2021, AmeriCorps members across the nation participated in the 9/11 National Day of Service to commemorate the 20th year since the September 11th attacks.

Our 83 members serving with Campus Compact’s VISTA Project and K2H Civic Futures Project participated in service projects to give back to their communities and make a positive impact to remember the lives we lost in 2001.  All around the country, Campus Compact AmeriCorps members volunteered with a wide range of organizations. Members had the opportunity to select their own projects. They served at organizations such as Chicago West Side Mutual Aid, Midwest Food Bank, Waltham Boys and Girls Club, the Angel Fund for ALS Research, Northern Illinois Food Bank, the National Archive, History Colorado Museums throughout the state, S. Paul’s Kitchen Meal, and many more!

In Chicago, our VISTA staff, leaders, and AmeriCorps members participated in Serve Illinois’ Meal Pack for 9/11 Day at Navy Pier. Volunteers, including AmeriCorps members from across the state, packed over 100,000 meals for distribution by the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “The amount of people who helped at the Serve Illinois Meal Pack was amazing. It was encouraging to see so many AmeriCorps members from so many different projects” observed Breanna Mihalovich, VISTA Leader based in Chicago.

The Campus Compact team attending this event was surprised with a visit from the Governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, who wanted to personally thank the volunteers for their service.

The K2H Civic Futures team led a virtual volunteering event for members of both the K2H and VISTA programs. This virtual event included acts of service, watching a video, and reflecting on the events of 9/11 and their current service. Participants wrote letters to first responders, thanking them for their service as well as participated in a declutter-to-donate project, in which members cleaned out their closets to donate unused items.

The focus of the virtual event helped to illustrate how service can take many different forms. In reflecting on her takeaways from the service day, Lindsay Cluckey, an AmeriCorps member with K2H Civic Futures based at Arvada High School, stated, “One of my takeaways is that service does not always need to be a big project. It can be small, kind gestures as well. For example, writing thank you notes to first responders. It does not take a lot of physical work, but it's sometimes those small things that make a big difference to someone and help them to feel more appreciated and at ease.”

“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. 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.

“Together, we’ll rekindle that spirit of unity that swept the nation 20 years ago and honor our heroes who demonstrated to all of us that even on its worst day, America can show its best.”

-Acting CEO of AmeriCorps, Mal Coles

Connor Stack with horseConnor Stack volunteered with Challenge Unlimited and Lucy’s Love Bus, where he assisted in therapeutic horseback riding for people with disabilities and children with life-threatening illnesses. VISTA team with JB PritzkerPicutred left to right, AmeriCorps members Kasey and Michael, Program Coordinator Stephanie Diaz, Governor of Illinois JB Pritzker, VISTA Leader Brianna Mihalovich, and Program Specialist Nathan Wiesehan pose in front of some of the meals they packed. [embed]https://twitter.com/i/status/1436769751603232769[/embed] Program Specialist and Campus Compact VISTA alumnus Nathan Wiesehan talking about the importance of volunteering on 9/11.