A bipartisan show of unity for 9/11 as families, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, military veterans and members of Congress help restore The National 9/11 Flag damaged in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center
American Express Joins Effort as Lead ContributorWASHINGTON DC, July 14, 2011 --
Republican and Democratic U.S. Congressional leaders today came together in a show of bipartisan support for a nationwide effort to inspire millions of Americans to voluntarily engage in charity, service and good deeds in observance of the upcoming 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance and the 10-year Anniversary of the attacks. Kicking off the nonprofit 9/11 Day Observance (911day.org; Facebook.com/911day; Twitter.com/911day), prominent members of Congress joined with nearly 150 9/11 family members, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, volunteers and members of Congress to help stitch The National 9/11 Flag that was damaged in the aftermath of the collapse of the World Trade Center nearly a decade ago.
Joining as principal congressional co-sponsors and expected participants in the ceremony held in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Building were U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Scott Brown (R-MA), Olympia Snowe (R-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NY), along with U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and U.S. Representatives Peter King (R-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Jerald Nadler (D-NY), Kenneth Calvert (R-CA), and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Many other members also joined to support this event and participate in the flag restoration over the course of the day.
MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network, the volunteer activation division of Points of Light Institute, are the lead organizers of the nonpartisan, nonprofit 9/11 Day Observance, established soon after the attacks to advocate for and support the federally recognized 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. Joining with MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network to lead the 9/11 Day Observance are the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Business Civic Leadership Center, AARP and The Mission Continues. Organizers expect this year's 9/11 Day Observance to be the single-largest day of good deeds, charitable activity and service in United States history, with at least one million Americans paying tribute through good deeds and charitable service to the 9/11 victims and survivors, and those who rose in service following the attacks, including military and public safety personnel.
"This is a historic and forward-looking opportunity for our entire nation and each of us as individuals to join together once again with the same spirit of unity that arose following the attacks nearly a decade ago," said David Paine, co-founder and president of MyGoodDeed. "Collectively, through our positive actions that help others in need, we will create a remarkable and lasting tribute that will forever honor those we lost on 9/11, and demonstrate emphatically that goodness ultimately wins out over evil."
"The 10-year Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is a national touchstone that unites us all. It is a time for people to come together and use their power to create change in their communities," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Lights of Institute. "HandsOn Network will directly mobilize 50,000 people to use their time, talent, voices and resources to create a positive, lasting legacy of service that addresses the challenges we all face."
"Throughout the nation, many in the 9/11 community see this observance as an opportunity to honor our loved ones lost and to make the world a bit better for those in need," said MyGoodDeed co-founder and vice president Jay S. Winuk, whose brother Glenn J. Winuk, a partner at the law firm Holland & Knight and a volunteer firefighter and EMT, died in the line of duty on 9/11. "From the ashes of Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Penn., people all over the world are bonding together annually on this day, and that is a great tribute to all those who perished."
The National 9/11 Flag 50-State Restoration Tour
This is The National 9/11 Flag's first visit to Washington, D.C., part of a nationwide restoration tour organized by the nonprofit group, New York Says Thank You Foundation. All members of Congress were extended invitations to participate in the historic stitching ceremony, held on Capitol Hill from 1:30 to 4:00 PM.
The patriotic and inspiring event provided the backdrop for several significant announcements about this year's plans for the $20 million 9/11 Day Observance, including:
- The launch of a new website at 911day.org. Participants can post and share their planned good deeds, tributes and service activities for 9/11, search a nationwide listing of volunteer opportunities, powered by HandsOn Connect and VolunteerMatch, and also support charitable causes, supported by Guidestar and Network for Good. For the first time, participants can directly dedicate their tribute activity by name to individual 9/11 victims. This unique "Service in Memory" feature was co-created by the 9/11 Memorial, a program leader of the 9/11 Day Observance, and MyGoodDeed. "We are delighted to partner with MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network to help provide an affirmative and constructive way for people to learn about and remember those who were lost," said Joseph Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. A companion Facebook page (facebook.com/911day) will also offer similar functionality.
- Large-scale volunteer service projects planned across the nation during the weekend of 9/11/11. Cities already identified include New York City; Washington, D.C.; Boston; St. Louis; San Francisco; Chicago; Houston; Los Angeles and many others. The goal is to actively mobilize 50,000 volunteers across these projects and partner with thousands of other nonprofits throughout the nation to mobilize at least one million volunteers on the weekend of 9/11.
- Plans for a $15 million "I Will" public service campaign that will reach and inspire millions to participate and post tributes. The campaign, to include television, radio, digital and print public service messages running Aug. 11 through Sept. 11, is the product of a powerful collaboration of world-class creative organizations, led by the combined strategic and creative teams of GOOD/Corps and Deutsch LA, with production by Rock Paper Scissors and Moxie Firecracker Films, website development by Partner with M., social media elements by MagicBullet, and talent led by the Creative Artists Agency Foundation and Sunshine Sachs. More than $7 million in donated media has already been pledged from national radio partner Clear Channel Radio, as well as several million dollars of additional support from media and awareness partners National Association of Broadcasters; Groupon; Google; General Growth Properties (GGP) one of the nation's largest shopping center owners, and other organizations.
- Major donations from prominent corporations and foundations, including a $1 million leadership contribution by American Express Company, one of the largest donations American Express has given to a single entity.
"American Express stands for service – in all of its forms – and we are proud be part of what we hope will become the largest day of service in U.S. history," said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation.
"We know that service is not confined to a specific cause or geography, and we believe that 9/11 Day Observance provides a platform for all Americans to pay tribute on the 10-year Anniversary of 9/11 in meaningful and impactful
Additionally, GlaxoSmithKline, JPMorgan Chase and Best Buy have each donated $500,000 to the observance, and Target Corporation contributed a significant amount. Other contributors include Bank of America; Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, which lost 67 employees on 9/11; Holland and Knight LLP; and Northrop Grumman.
- Launch of education toolkits and lesson plans, developed with the help of Scholastic Inc, the global children's publishing, education and media company, that will be offered to more than one million teachers and are available for free at scholastic.com/911day and on the 911day.org website.
- The federal Corporation for National and Community Service is launching a 10th Anniversary Challenge on Challenge.gov that will make up to $500,000 in awards, available to organizations to carry out future 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance activities.
About the 9/11 Day Observance: MyGoodDeed, the respected 9/11 nonprofit founded in 2003 and which successfully advocated for making 9/11 a federally designated Day of Service and Remembrance, and HandsOn Network, the volunteer activation division of Points of Light Institute, are leading an influential coalition of prominent organizations that are working together to plan and implement the 9/11 Day Observance. The coalition's primary goal for the upcoming 10-year Anniversary of 9/11 is to organize the single largest day of charitable service in U.S. history. For more information, go to: 911day.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The 9/11 National Flag: Making its first appearance in Washington, D.C., The National 9/11 Flag is currently on a journey across America through the 10-year Anniversary of 9/11 led by The New York Says Thank You Foundation. The goal of The National 9/11 Flag Tour is to display this historic flag at leading venues nationwide, to empower local service heroes in all 50 states with the privilege of stitching the 30' x 20' flag back to its original 13-stripe format, and to inspire 300 million Americans with the flag's rich visual history in order to deepen our sense of citizenship and national pride and bolster the spirit of volunteerism on the 9/11 Anniversary and year-round. Once fully restored, The National 9/11 Flag will become part of the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. "We are honored to have the Congressional leadership take part in the historic restoration of this national treasure," said Jeff Parness, founder of New York Says Thank You Foundation. "Our hope is that The National 9/11 Flag will forever tell the story of the sense of unity and volunteer spirit that brought our Nation together on 9/12."