United Way of Greater St. Louis Remembers

Summary

The United Way of Greater St. Louis (United Way), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and its collaborative partners will engage at least 5,000 volunteers in over 100 meaningful service projects throughout a 16 county bi-state region in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of September 11. Volunteers of all ages, ethnicities, beliefs, income-levels, and abilities will participate in a wide range of service opportunities that address critical issues within the community. In addition to projects, United Way will support educational events to foster understanding and unity as well as host tribute events to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11, veterans and active military, and local first responders. United Way’s efforts will serve as an annual catalyst for ongoing citizen engagement throughout the region, improve interfaith and cross-cultural relations, build capacity among area nonprofits, and establish a legacy that forever honors all those who were lost on 9/11 and all who rose in service following 9/11.

Involved Organizations

United Way serves as the lead coordinator of its region’s 9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance activities. Over a hundred organizations, including nonprofits; local, state, and federal governmental entities; corporations, faith-based institutions; and fraternal and professional associations have joined United Way in implementing a week of service and remembrance on and around September 11, 2011. Key partners include the St. Louis Chapter of AmeriCorps Alumni, CAIR St. Louis, and The Mission Continues. A list of all involved organizations is available upon request.

Expected Number of Volunteers

United Way, its volunteer-led steering committee, and its partners will engage at least 5,000 volunteers (10% of HandsOn Network’s national goal) in over 100 service projects (20% of the national goal) throughout the greater St. Louis region in Missouri and in Illinois.

Community Needs Addressed by Service Activity & Anticipated Accomplishments

The service activities coordinated for this day of service & remembrance aims to positively impact every fabric of the community. Below is a table providing examples of how United Way and its partners will utilize volunteers to address and impact community needs:

Disaster Preparedness & Recovery: 1) Educate residents in identified areas about 2-1-1 (a 24/7 information & referral hotline that connects people in need with services throughout the state of Missouri and several Illinois counties) and 2) repair homes, places of worship, and other structures that were damaged by recent tornados affecting the region

Public Health: 1) Participate in citywide clean-ups in select areas and 2) distribute literature about weatherization and lead remediation programs

Hunger:1) Sort donations at local food pantries/banks and 2) prepare and deliver meals to low-income individuals

Financial Literacy & Stability: Conduct financial literacy and money management workshops

At-risk Children & Youth: 1) Facilitate educational and recreational activities with children and youth and 2) assemble child identification and hygiene kits

Neighborhood Preservation: Beautify and provide modest repairs to neighborhood places of worship, cultural amenities, and other institutions

Homelessness: 1) Distribute housing and resource information within identified locations and 2) conduct clothing drives

Seniors: Facilitate engaging activities focused on keeping seniors mobile and improving dexterity Education: 1) Tutor, 2) assist with FAFSA and college applications, 3) conduct school supply drives, and 4) assemble age-appropriate literacy kits

Environment: 1) Revitalize existing and develop new community gardens and 2) distribute energy efficient light bulbs within low-income communities

Commemoration Activities

Founder of MyGoodDeed.org, David Paine, refers to the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance as a “historic, enduring and compassionate legacy that truly honors the 9/11 victims and their families, first responders and rescue and recovery workers, the soldiers who have taken up arms to defend our freedom and safety, and the many volunteers who spontaneously contributed their efforts in the immediate aftermath of 9/11." Through all of United Way’s efforts, and moreover, all that the efforts stand for and strive to accomplish, United Way will honor the lives and legacies of all those who were lost and those that rose and continue to rise in service. In addition to service projects, United Way will support, initiate, and coordinate various tribute events including remembrance concerts and walks, interfaith and cross-cultural dialogues and (non-proselytizing) prayer gatherings, educational forums, and candlelight vigils. These events will engage and honor police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, veterans and active duty military, and other rescue and recovery workers. Additionally, they will seek to build understanding and unity among residents, particularly in the areas of interfaith and cross-cultural relations.

Promotion Activities

United Way has strong ties with local media outlets. These relationships have been leveraged to promote through Public Service Announcements, television and radio interviews, and newspaper coverage. In addition to these measures, United Way’s volunteer-led steering committee will aggressively promote 9/11 activities through various social media websites and applications.

Data Collection

The majority of volunteers will register through United Way’s website, which will capture volunteers’ names, e-mail addresses, and other information (i.e. military status). Additionally, each volunteer will complete a volunteer waiver prior to the activity and a survey following the activity. All completed forms will be delivered to United Way and entered into a centralized database.