"9/11 Day: Serve + Remember" Volunteer Kick-Off at County Center

CE Robert P. Astorino at the 9/11 Kick OffSept. 6, 2017 - In honor of those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, County Executive Robert P. Astorino today joined with Volunteer New York!, Robison Oil and Empire City Casino to promote the “9/11 Day: Serve + Remember” volunteer opportunities available from Saturday, Sept. 9, through Monday, Sept. 11, at various locations across Westchester.

Westchester County’s formal 9/11 memorial ceremony at “The Rising” at Kensico Dam in Valhalla will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11. As always, the public is invited to attend.

“On the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we continue to come together in remembrance and unity, proving that basic goodness and commitment to service will always prevail,” Astorino said. “Last year, we had 1,368 volunteers put over 2,000 hours of service back into the community as part of our 9/11 remembrance. This year offers so many great ways to volunteer, whether it’s giving blood, helping those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, or thanking our veterans. I hope you’ll all join us.”

Register online at www.volunteernewyork.org/service or call (914) 948-4452 for more information. The theme of this year’s 9/11 Day is “Service. Empathy. Unity.” Many volunteer opportunities are family friendly and all will help support one of 40 local nonprofits and causes.

“Over the last seven years, thousands have served with us locally on September 11th in memory of those lost,” said Alisa H. Kesten, executive director of Volunteer New York!. “Join their legacy of focusing volunteer efforts to build community, strengthen local nonprofits, and respond to timely needs that can make a difference, like the Hurricane Relief happening right now. We encourage families with youth, individuals, businesses and groups of all sizes to register today and take on one small part of a much larger question. How will you serve on 9/11 Day?”

Westchester County will also host its annual employee blood drive in partnership with the New York Blood Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, at the County Center. To sign up or learn more, contact Janet Lokay by e-mail at or by phone at (914) 995-2127.

“Every day, the New York Blood Center has to provide 2,000 units of blood to some 200 area hospitals,” said Andrea Cefarelli, executive director of Donor Recruitment at the New York Blood Center. “That’s why we run blood drives every day of the year. Summer inventories are low due to decreased donations, and we’re counting on all to help replenish all blood types and ensure an ample and robust supply for the critical needs of people in the community.”

In addition to their commitment to provide blood for hospital patients, NYBC is sending blood and blood products to Houston for their ongoing hospital needs.

For the third year in a row, Robison Oil is a presenting sponsor of “9/11 Day: Serve + Remember.”

“9/11 Day has always had a special meaning for the employees of Robison and all New Yorkers,” said David Singer, president of Robinson Oil. “But with the devastation that has hit our neighbors in Texas, social service and volunteerism is more important than ever. We are pleased to have the opportunity to once again sponsor this great event.”

911kickoff1New this year, Empire City Casino is a presenting sponsor of the “9/11 Day: Serve + Remember” volunteer opportunities.

“This is an opportunity to pay tribute to those we lost and their families, and to demonstrate that small acts of service can have a tremendous impact,” said Taryn Duffy, director of public affairs for Empire City Casino. “Empire City Casino will be lit red, white and blue on September 11th in remembrance of the brave souls who lost their lives that day, and a team of our employees will proudly volunteer their services with Volunteer New York!.”

9/11 Day Volunteer Opportunities at the Westchester County Center on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017:

Donate Supplies for Hurricane Harvey Relief
Supports the AFYA Foundation

Join Westchester Medical Reserve Corps (ages 18+)
Westchester County Emergency Services
Volunteers needed to serve alongside Westchester County Health and Emergency Services Professionals to support the needs of Westchester residents during disasters and public health emergencies.

Create No-Sew Blankets for Children in Need (for ages 12+ / 8+ with parent)
Supports Westchester-Rockland Project Linus
Volunteers will work in pairs to create no-sew fleece blankets that will be given to children who need a little extra security and support through Project Linus. Blankets go to hospitals, shelters and foster care programs.

Create Inspirational Notes & Cards for Deployed Service Members (for all ages)
Supports United for the Troops
Volunteers will write inspirational notes and cards for deployed service members. These notes will be attached to BlowPops to show the deployed service members someone is thinking of them and wanting to send something sweet their way.

Create Tissue Paper Packs for Patients Battling Cancer (for ages 14+ / 7+ w/adult)
Supports Gilda's Club Westchester
During chemotherapy, patients often lose their nose hairs, causing a constant case of the sniffles and nasal drip. Volunteers will decorate tissue packs for cancer patients with paper, embellishments, and words of inspiration and kindness. These decorated tissue packs will be given to Gilda’s Club Westchester and will let the cancer patient know that others are thinking of them.

Create Literacy Tools for Youth (for ages 16+ / 11+ with parent)
Supports Leake & Watts Service, Inc.
Volunteers will put together literacy activities for The Mitten by Jan Brett. Children may learn how to read at school, but they learn to love reading at home. One of the best ways to achieve this love is via reading enrichment activities which build on themes within a book. Volunteers will cut out and package puppets for under privileged children so they can practice retelling the tale.

Donate New or Lightly Used Children's Books (for ages 5+)
Supports JCY-Westchester Community Partners
Many families are struggling with medical and financial burdens that result in little or no exposure to literacy for their preschool children. Research shows that reading aloud at this age fosters academic success and avoids the language delays that hamper children's progress in school.

Donate Items For Deployed Soldiers Care Packages (for ages 5+)
Supports United For The Troops
United For The Troops is a nonprofit organization which collects and sends goods the military does not provide to soldiers stationed overseas. The goal is to help make life a little easier for those stationed so far from home. Some of these items include t-shirts, snacks, dvd's, and other goods.

Donate Diapers & Wipes For Families In Need (for ages 18+)
Supports Junior League of Central Westchester and Westchester County Diaper Bank
“Diaper deprivation” is a very serious problem affecting 1-in -3 American mothers, according to a recent study sponsored by Huggies. Without an ample supply of diapers, babies wear used diapers or wear a diaper for too long. Help us keep baby bottoms clean and dry. Bring diaper and wipes!

Create Literacy & Math Kits for Elementary Children (for ages 16+ / 12+ w/adult)
Supports the Elmsford Union Free School District
Volunteers will create “Build a Pizza” math/counting classroom activity kits. Volunteers will cut and laminate the toppings for this activity, making it a lasting addition to a classroom math library that can be used for years to come.

Create Laundry Sachets for Formerly Homeless Women in White Plains (for ages 14+/ 10+ with parent)
Supports the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester
Volunteers will bag laundry detergent, fold in a dryer sheet, cover them in fabric remnants and secure them with a thoughtful or inspiring note. This is a very practical need for many families and it lets the recipients know that others are thinking of and supporting them.

Project Full Create No Sew Super Hero and Princess Capes
Supports WestCOP Community Action Program
Volunteers will create no-sew fleece super hero and princess capes, masks and crowns for children at the WestCOP Head Start Centers.

Learn the Life Saving Technique of Hands Only CPR (for ages 12+ / 8+ w/adult)
Supported by the American Heart Association
Volunteers will receive instruction in Hands Only CPR and practice their skills on human dummies.

Create Sandwiches for Westchester's Hungry (for ages 14+ / 10+ parent)
Supports One Sandwich At a Time
Volunteers will make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to benefit and be donated to a local Westchester food pantry. This project is not suitable for individuals who are sensitive or allergic to peanuts.

For a complete list of the local 9/11 Day service projects, locations and their descriptions, which are scheduled from Saturday, Sept. 9 to  Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, visit www.volunteernewyork.org/service.

2017 9/11 Day participating nonprofits and causes include:

Afya Foundation, A-HOME, Atria Senior Living - Briarcliff Manor, Community Service Associates, the #DadBeThere Fatherhood Initiative, Dominican College Project, Family Services of Westchester: The Sharing Shelf, Girl Scouts, Graham Windham, Hillside Food Outreach, Humane Society of Westchester, Junior League of Central Westchester, Leake & Watts, Life Progressive Services, Live On New York, Meals on Wheels, Mercy College, Montrose Veterans Hospital, My Brother’s Keeper, My Second Home, New York Blood Center, One Sandwich At A Time, Open Door Family Medical Center, Operation Gratitude, Our New Way Garden & Acorn Organics, Pace University Project, Project Linus, Ronald McDonald House of GHV, Rye Nature Center, Schaffer Extended Care Center, Teatown Lake Reservation, United for the Troops, Volunteer New York! Hunger Relief Corps, Westchester County Health Department, WJCS Kids’ Closet, Westchester Parks Foundation, WestCOP and Worldwide Community First Responder, Inc.

About Volunteer New York!:
The core mission of Volunteer New York! (volunteernewyork.org) is to inspire, mobilize, and equip individuals and groups to take positive action to address pressing challenges, support non-profits and improve the quality of life in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam. For more than 66 years the organization has encouraged adults to serve, youth to build character, families to bond, young professionals to lead, mature adults to share their wisdom and businesses to engage through volunteerism.

Volunteer New York! helped coordinate over 270,000 hours of service, which were devoted last year to over 500 nonprofits at a value of over $7.3 million. The Corporate Champions who strongly support the mission of Volunteer New York! include: Bunge Limited, MasterCard, New York Life, PepsiCo, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Robison Corporation, Scent 2 Market, The Journal News and Lohud.com, Two’s Company, Con Edison, Empire City Casino, Keystone Property Group, M&T Bank, Morgan Stanley, PKF O'Connor Davies, The Rollins Agency, Inc., NewYork-Presbyterian, Balancing Life’s Issues, Clarfeld Financial Advisors, LLC, PCSB Bank, The Dannon Company, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Entergy, IBM, MAG Real Estate Advisors, Inc., Montefiore Health System, Pentegra Retirement Services, LLP, Reckson - a division of SL Green Realty Corp, RPW Group, Sterling National Bank, TD Bank, The Westchester Bank, and Westmed Medical Group. With ongoing support from Westchester Community Foundation, Westchester County, Corporation for National & Community Service, and the New York State Commission on National and Community Service.