From the community

Maine Joins 9/11 Tribute Movement

Posted Aug. 29, 2012, at 5:19 p.m.

AUGUSTA – The Maine Commission for Community Service invites all citizens of Maine to join the 9/11 tribute movement, “I Will” to commemorate this relatively new National Day of Service and Remembrance. Organized nationally by My Good Deed, a foundation started by family members of 9/11 victims and first responders, “I Will” calls on each citizen to pay tribute to those remembered on 9/11 by performing a “good deed,” a personal act of service, an act of “neighboring.”

“Neighboring is the informal volunteering we do to help out in the community,” explains Pam Zeutenhorst, the Commission’s coordinator for volunteer sector initiatives. “It is the food we bring to a sick neighbor, the community drive to refurnish a family whose house burned, and the citizen who keeps an eye on seasonal camps for their owners during the winter.”

The Maine Commission for Community Service has registered Maine’s “I Will” tribute as a single, statewide project with the national movement. Each citizen wishing to participate decides what personal act of service will be the tribute to 9/11 victims and first responders and then registers the pledge of service at VolunteerMaine.org by September 11.

Ms Zeutenhorst noted that neighboring complements formal volunteering. Both connect residents to each other, make communities stronger, and foster mutual respect and responsibility. In rural, under-resourced communities throughout Maine, neighboring and formal volunteering flourish side-by-side, tackling serious local needs.

Schools, clubs, town councils, faith communities, and fraternal organizations can organize a “pledge drive” among their members. Posters and pledge cards with instructions on how to participate are available from the Commission. Group leaders can obtain these at no cost by emailing service.commission@maine.gov or calling 207.624.7792 during business hours.

All Maine pledges of service recorded at VolunteerMaine.org will be bundled and reported to the national organizers by September 15. Last year, through the efforts of the “I Will” campaign, 33 million people observed 9/11 by engaging in charitable activities that ranged from simple good deeds to organized volunteer work. The results far exceeded the national organizers’ hopes for 10 million people undertaking volunteer activity.

For more information and pledge registration details, visit www.VolunteerMaine.org.

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