Twin Cities 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance Culminating Event
BACKGROUND & ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED
HandsOn Twin Cities is a member of the HandsOn Network and is the central source for volunteerism in the Twin Cities that meets the needs of both people wanting to volunteer and organizations working with volunteers. The mission of HandsOn Twin Cities (HOTC) is to bring people together to strengthen communities through meaningful volunteer action. The goal of HOTC is to inspire people to become catalysts for community change and give them avenues in which they can effect that change.
HOTC is partnering with Rebuilding Together Twin Cities (RTTC), a local affiliate of a national network that brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. They provide no-cost home repairs for homeowners in need, particularly older adults, individuals living with disabilities and families with children. This service ensures that these homeowners live independently in homes that are safe, warm and independent.
Together, HOTC and RTTC and its networks are working in junction to mobilize as many citizens as possible to honor fallen soldiers, veterans who have served, those who are still serving and military families through acts of service and reflection. As we move towards this momentous occasion, the following corporations, organizations and groups have pledged to participate in 9/11 projects through our national networks, in which HOTC will receiving funding and promotional support from: 9/11 Memorial, AARP, American Express, Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC), Glaxo Smith Kline, HandsOn Network, JP Morgan Chase, The Mission Continues and MyGoodDeed.org. On a local level,
HOTC is in collaboration with the following organizations during the 9/11 projects: Best Buy, GLS Printing, KARE11, Minneapolis Chambers of Commerce, Minneapolis Parks & Recreation, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), Minnesota School of Business, Minnesota Timberwolves Fastbreak Foundation, Mosaic, Nemer Fieger, Park Nicollet Foundation, Sears Heroes at Home, Wells Fargo and Xcel Energy.
9/11 SERVICE ACTIVITIES
In 2010, HOTC began discussions with local leaders, corporations and nonprofit organizations about creating an event focused around 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Since there is little being done in the Twin Cities community to recognize this Day of Service and Remembrance. This event is intended to be an annual event focused on service and remembrance of veterans, military personal and their families and fallen soldiers in the Twin Cities community.
To memorialize this Day of Service and Remembrance, HOTC and RTTC have identified 30 homes that need repair in the Twin Cities, of which selected recipients are veterans or military families. In addition, two home repair projects will be benefitting the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV), an organization that provides assistance to veterans and their families how are homeless or experiencing other life crises. The following projects will be generously completed by our kind corporate sponsors and skilled volunteers. The 30 projects will provide nearly 800 volunteers with the opportunity to give back in tribute to 9/11 throughout the months of August and September.
Approximately 15 homes will entail Home Repair rehab projects (a RTTC program), which include: carpentry, electrical work, installing concrete curbs, exterior work, etc. While another 15 homes will involve lighter repair as a part of RTTC’s Safe at Home program where volunteers provide minor home safety or accessibility modifications to the homes of individuals who are faced with the prospect of losing their independence. All of the home repair projects will lead up to a large culminating event the weekend of 9/11 which will mix volunteer service and remembrance.
The culminating volunteer event will commemorate 9/11 with speaking engagements continued with volunteer service projects. This event will recognize fallen soldiers, veterans who have served, and those who are still serving as well as celebrate the work accomplished in repairing homes throughout the Twin Cities.
Taking place on Saturday, September 10th at Victory Memorial Flagpole, volunteers will gather to recognize the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Beginning in the morning, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn will address the community and groups of volunteers and expected crowd of nearly 300. Local dignitaries Governor Mark Dayton, Mayor R.T. Rybak and Mayor Christopher Coleman will also contribute their shared beliefs on 9/11 and the importance of serving our country. The Victory Memorial Flagpole is a recognized local tribute to service which runs from a historic landscaped boulevard and commemorates the 568 men and women of Hennepin County who died in World War I.
After the rally of the culminating event, the 300 volunteers will disperse and participate in volunteer actions that will demonstrate their commitment to service. Groups will clean and polish tribute markers along Victory Memorial Drive, write reflections and wishes to troops on Freedom Banners, send electronic tributes to troops at the Best Buy booth as well as demonstrate their dedication to service through park beautification projects.
By providing this culminating event, HOTC is addressing a community need to reflect and thank our service personnel. In addition, the park site locations are also partaking in a community effort to re-establish north Minneapolis, after it was devastatingly hit by a tornado in May 2011.
PROMOTION OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE & REMEMBRANCE
HOTC has the support of local media, KARE11, and will be developing a media campaign to recognize the culminating event, as well as specific home sites in which corporations are paying tribute to the 9/11 initiative. Additionally, Nemer Fieger has been promoting the partnership of HOTC and RTTC and its efforts to recognize veterans, military personnel and their families.
As a volunteer resource center, HOTC is affiliated with nearly 300 nonprofits in the Twin Cities metro area and will continue to promote the 9/11 volunteer event through all its constituents and request that its nonprofit affiliates include projects on their calendars.
It is important to HOTC and RTTC that our local 9/11 volunteer event is publicly recognized and its sponsors and volunteers realize and are proud to be a part of a movement that will engage nearly 5 million volunteers nationwide to pay tribute to this day.