Tomorrow Together: A call for service, empathy and unity this 9/11

by Ursula Helminski

Can we emdbed the 911 psa?

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This September marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11. We are proud to join 9/11 Day and a coalition of more than 20 other organizations to encourage service, empathy and unity through a new initiative called Tomorrow Together.

Tomorrow Together will include large-scale service projects across the nation on September 11, 2016, bringing together a diverse community of people to help address hunger in America and other important societal issues.  

In Washington, DC, volunteers will help pack more than one million meals for at-risk seniors, children, veterans and others.

Millions of educators will receive free educational service-learning materials that assist in teaching empathy, through a collaboration with the Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative and the National Youth Leadership Council.  

At the college level, The George Washington University will help organize other universities and colleges to participate in 9/11 Day.

9/11 Day is also releasing public service messages (PSAs) featuring 14-year-old Hillary O'Neill from Norwalk, CT, one of more than 13,000 children born in the United States on the day of the tragedy, September 11, 2001. In the PSAs, Ms. O'Neill urges the nation to see the anniversary of 9/11 as a day to work together to do good deeds. View her message here:  

9/11 day co-founder and executive vice president Jay Winuk perfectly summed up the goal of the effort. Winuk's brother, Glenn J. Winuk, an attorney and volunteer firefighter and EMT, died in the line of duty as a rescuer on 9/11. Jay said, "As someone who lost a loved one on 9/11, I was truly inspired by the remarkable way our nation came together in the months following the attacks. We owe more than division and discord to those who perished from the attacks and those who served in its aftermath. The anniversary of 9/11 should be a reminder to us all about our common humanity and the opportunity we have to help people and communities in need."

What can afterschool programs do for 9/11 Day? Plan your own service activity, or reach out to service organizations in your community. And stay tuned, the Afterschool Snack will share resources and activities as they are developed.

9/11 is an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance. More than 30 million Americans now observe September 11 each year through charitable service and good deeds, transforming "9/11 Day" into the largest annual day of charitable engagement in America.  

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