9/11 Service & Remembrance - Feeding Vets in Need

The Parkway Senior Center & its Volunteer Department will once again be coordinating the 9/11 Service Project because of its experience in successfully planning large scale volunteer events and programs.  PSC has secured partnerships for this year’s event to include the City of Utica and the City of Rome, both the Utica Fire and Police Departments, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, WKTV, The Observer Dispatch, Target, CRM, The Genesis Group CNY’s Veteran’s Outreach Center, the Boys & Girls Club of the Mohawk Valley, City of Utica Youth Bureau, County of Oneida Youth Bureau, Oneida County Office for Aging and Northern Safety Co., Inc.

9/11 Service Project will commemorate remembrance and volunteer service.   The Genesis Group has joined this year’s Service Project and are rolling their annual 9/11 Prayer Breakfast into part of this larger Service Project.  This event will be held on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.  The event remembers and pays tribute to the heroes of our first responders.  It is their 10th Annual Prayer Breakfast.

On 9/11, the day will begin with a small remembrance ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial on Memorial Parkway, in Utica, with a wreath laying and moment of silence at 8:46 am coordinated by the Utica Fire and Police Departments.  Thereafter, volunteers will be asked to gather at the Parkway Recreation Center, where this year’s service project will begin.  This year’s project will be collecting and packing donated non-perishable food items for veterans and their families, the pantry at the CNY Veteran’s Outreach Center and other community food banks locally.  The goal is to have over 200 volunteers, pack at least 100 care packages for local area veterans and stock up the veteran and community food pantries.  The food drives for the event will begin mid-August through September 11th.

There are several ways in which PSC plans to mobilize and recruit volunteers for this year’s event and beyond.  PSC is asking community partners and Project Partners to help recruit volunteers from their employees, volunteers, members, friends and family;  post on their web-sites, FaceBook, in their newsletters or any other means that they have access in order to inform their audiences.  PSC’s newest partners include the local media.  WKTV will be running 30 second Public Service Announcements about the event and project partners will be guests on Newstalk.  The Observer Dispatch will not only provide coverage of the event itself, but provide over $1,000 worth of advertising.

At the end of the day, a formal 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance Service will be coordinated by the City of Utica, City of Rome and the County of Oneida, to be held at Hanna Park in Utica.  The Mayors and County Executive will be asking surrounding towns and villages to join them to not only to remember & pay tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11, but to thank all the volunteers for their service and remind everyone of how important their volunteer service is to our community, this day and every day.  There will be information available about volunteer opportunities throughout our community and how people can continue to serve to honor and pay tribute to the lives and legacies of the victims and heroes of 9/11.

One of the reasons PSC has undertaken the coordination of this year’s 9/11 Service Project was to bring the community together for the same purpose – Remembering 9/11 and Service to the Community.  Many organizations want to show tribute, but a collaborative effort impacts are longer lasting.  We expect to engage new volunteers that will serve this day and want to continue to serve in other volunteer capacities.  We expect to engage over 200 volunteers.

All the volunteers that participate will be asked to sign in and will be given a commemorative t-shirt.  The volunteer leaders will sign in for the leadership training.  A part of their responsibilities of the service project will be to keep accurate count to the number of volunteers participating on their assignment, amount of donations, number of care packages and how much was food was distributed to the CNY Veteran’s Outreach Center and area community food banks.

Our community has a large number of non-profits, who need volunteers to assist them in carrying out their mission and providing service to the community.  A part of the project is to showcase some of those non-profits who are looking for volunteers.  PSC’s Volunteer Department will have information available on the various volunteer opportunities available in the community as well as a volunteer registration form that participants can high light what they may be interested in volunteering for, and we can help them get connected to the right opportunity.