America remembers the victims of September 11

NEW YORK -- In recent days, two hurricanes exposed mother nature's worst and human nature's best. In Texas, Louisiana and Florida, strangers are helping strangers as beleaguered communities stand strong. That spirit of service tends to shine through in America during troubled times.

September 11 is the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance, a day of action commemorating the attacks in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania sixteen years ago. Organizations across the country are hosting volunteer opportunities. Some of them relate to the hurricanes. Others are ongoing projects. They all embrace the profound national solidarity that took hold in the aftermath of the 2001 terror attacks.

Organizations host volunteer opportunities

The Points of Light Foundation has set up a website where people can search by ZIP code for local volunteer opportunities. You can also find local ways to volunteer at VolunteerMatch.org.

Samantha Jo Warfield from The Corporation for National and Community Service says volunteer activities are available in all 50 states. The scope goes beyond hurricane relief, but the storms will certainly influence volunteerism this year. "What we see in Texas is a great desire to do something," Warfield said. "The September 11 National Day of Service is an opportunity do just that." She went on to point out that many of the volunteer opportunities will stay available long after September 11.

Charities take donations in honor of 9/11 victims

Many groups upholding the spirit of 9/11 service are taking donations. The FealGood Foundation provides advocacy and support to 9/11 responders who are now dealing with catastrophic health issues. The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund distributes financial aid to children of 9/11 victims. Tuesday's Children supports youth and families impacted by terrorism. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation sets up 5K runs nationwide to raise money for veterans and first responders who lost limbs in the line of duty. The Leary Firefighters Foundation helps fire departments buy new equipment. There are also maintenance funds for the 9/11 memorials in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The US Congress designated September 11 as a national day of service eight years ago. People who lost family in the 2001 attacks requested the official day as a way to honor their loved ones. If you would like to answer that call by volunteering, donating or showing that you care, hit the Take Action button below.