Let’s Volunteer on the National Day of Service and Remembrance
Last year on Sept 10th, President Biden issued a proclamation to officially designate this day every year as the National Day of Service and Remembrance. This day honors the lives lost and heroes who stepped up on 9/11 when terrorists attacked. This is also the day that the country became united in grief and purpose.
This country is divided in so many ways these days. Can we all take a day to set aside those differences and disagreements again? Let’s come together and support each other on September 11th.
This day of service turns this painful day of tragedy into a day of good by recognizing the spirit of unity and service that arose from the aftermath. RPCV Health Crusade is also asking Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to volunteer in memory of the Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) who lost their lives in service to others.
Volunteering Has Health Benefits
Volunteering offers the opportunity to make a positive impact and be a part of something beyond ourselves. And it can also bring a range of health benefits to the volunteer.
RPCVs know that helping others often brings a boost in happiness and life satisfaction. Seeing value in your efforts provides a greater sense of self-worth. And you could get a great hidden workout in the process.
Look for a project with a cause you support. Or, consider volunteering with a cause you are not familiar with or on the fence about. Take the opportunity to learn and appreciate something new. Volunteer to your strengths or learn some new skills. Step out of your comfort zone for a new experience and personal growth.
Some studies claim helping others reduce stress. For some, the opportunity for social interaction combats social isolation and cognitive decline. And, you might meet some incredible people who turn into great friends.
National Day of Service and Remembrance Project Ideas
There are many ways for you to make a difference. Volunteer in-person or remotely. You can always create your own project. Or, work with an RPCV group to create a service project. Volunteer alone or get others to join you. Options are unlimited.
Here is a variety of service project ideas to get the ball rolling:
- Help others get vaccinated
- Help out at a health fair
- Deliver or serve meals to those at risk of hunger
- Visit with residents at a hospice center
- Organize a blood drive
- Put on a show at a children’s hospital
- Produce an audio recording of a book or materials for people with vision or reading challenges
- Help convert empty lots into community green spaces or community food gardens
- Organize a supply drive to stock up teachers and students
- Find a way to welcome immigrants and refugees to the country or your area
- Decorate and revitalize a room at a veteran’s center
- Share some life skills with foster children to better prepare for life after the program
- Make some new friends at a senior center
- Do some gardening work for neighbors with physical limitations
- Produce a neighborhood mural
- Lend your language skills to translate for nonprofits serving non-English-language populations
- Help tackle a community center’s maintenance project
- Organize a park or beach clean-up
- Create an after-school program to give children activities and alternatives
- Lead your own health project with RPCV Health Crusade
If the volunteer event is in-person, take a covid test before volunteering if you do not feel well or have recently been near someone infected. You may feel fine but you could be asymptomatic. Even people who are vaccinated and boosted still get infected.
Be sure to follow covid protocols especially when you are near a vulnerable group. Respect physical boundaries especially if someone shows a need or preference for you to stay an arm’s length away. Let’s not be the cause of someone getting critically sick from our volunteer efforts.
How Will You Participate in this National Day of Service and Remembrance?
To some people, scheduling a day for service is a sacrifice. But to many RPCVs, the National Day of Service and Remembrance is one more welcomed opportunity to serve our communities.
Let us know if you have more ideas to expand the list of service options and opportunities. Sometimes one idea can trigger another great idea. Let’s go and make this a day that we will all remember!