Americans Asked to Declare "I WILL VOLUNTEER" to Achieve One Million Acts of ServiceNEW YORK, August 23, 2011 --
In support of the upcoming 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, American Express today announced the launch of the I WILL VOLUNTEER Facebook application, powered by HandsOn Network, the volunteer activation division of Points of Light Institute. This new app is designed to connect volunteers across the country to service projects in their communities and can be accessed at facebook.com/americanexpress or facebook.com/911day.
The 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance is a federally recognized initiative being led by MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network. In observance of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Americans are being encouraged to declare "I will," perform good deeds, volunteer and support charities honoring the victims of 9/11 and the many who rose in service in response to the 9/11 attacks.
To date, more than 60 organizations across the country have committed to hosting service projects on 9/11. And with one month to go, there is a need for hundreds of thousands of people to declare "I will volunteer" on 9/11 Day.
According to research, more than 60 percent of Americans today – and 84 percent of those between ages 21-35 – are ready to commemorate 9/11 through acts of charitable service or volunteerism. The same study, conducted by Horizon research in 2010 on behalf of MyGoodDeed, also found that among those who have participated in the 9/11 initiative in the past, more than half described themselves as new to volunteering.
"We know people are looking for opportunities to pay tribute through service as we mark this significant anniversary, but they may not know how and where to plug in," said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. "Our goal in launching this new app with HandsOn Network is to tap in to the power of social media and give potential volunteers a direct link to service opportunities, along with the ability to sign up for and share the causes that are most meaningful to them."
To use the I WILL VOLUNTEER app, volunteers simply visit facebook.com/americanexpress or facebook.com/911day. Volunteers can search the 9/11 Day database, powered by HandsOn Network, for volunteer opportunities by project location or type. When they find one they like, they can sign up and invite their friends on Facebook to join them in volunteering.
Current volunteer opportunities available range from revitalizing schools in New York City’s Lower East Side, to beautifying community gardens in Phoenix, to transforming an abandoned airport hanger into a community center in Los Angeles.
"We are always looking for new ways to get more Americans involved in service, and social media is a game-changer for facilitating volunteerism among communities of friends and family," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute and co-founder of HandsOn Network. "Partnering with American Express to develop the "I Will Volunteer" app furthers our existing presence in this new frontier and we anticipate it will help spur volunteerism for 9/11 Day and beyond."
The move to develop the application in partnership with the HandsOn Network is part of American Express’ commitment to the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. As the lead contributor, the Foundation has given a $1 million grant to help fund large-scale service projects in 20 cities, national education outreach, nonprofit capacity building and citizen engagement in Tribute activities.
American Express, which is headquartered in Lower Manhattan, has maintained a deep and longstanding commitment to helping build and serve its local community. The company was one of the first to return to its offices opposite the Trade Center site following the attacks in May 2002, has supported many initiatives to rebuild Lower Manhattan following the attacks of September 11th, including its $10 million dollar contribution to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and its leadership role in founding the Tribeca Film and River to River Festivals in Lower Manhattan. American Express also has a long history of supporting community service projects in communities across the world where its employees and customers work and live.
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: www.911day.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.
About Points of Light Institute
Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. We connect people to their power to make a meaningful difference. We are organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help 21st century volunteers use all of their assets – their time, talent, voice and money – to meet the critical needs of our time. Points of Light Institute operates multiple divisions including: HandsOn Network, the largest volunteer network in the world with 250 local affiliates; generationOn, the global youth service division that ignites the power of kids to make their mark on the world; and AmeriCorps Alums, a network of more than 120,000 experienced volunteer leaders. For more information, visit www.PointsofLight.org.