As the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 arrives, the United Way of Greater St. Louis has set a challenge: Be a hero through service to your community.
The United Way's tribute is through a National Day of Service and Remembrance. All week, the United Way and its agencies will be in St. Louis area communities helping in some way, whether it's cleaning up a cemetery, picking up trash or helping senior citizens with home repairs.
"We have 140 projects throughout the region in a 10-day span," said Evan Krauss, the United Way's volunteer center manager. "We can take as many as 2,000 volunteers on Sept. 10 and 11, especially."
One large scale project related directly to 9/11 is a flag remembrance at Art Hill in Forest Park. More than 3,000 flags will set in the ground to represent people who died as a result of the attacks. Krauss said a big community effort is needed for that to happen.
"We need people to help hammer in the flags on Sept. 10," he said. "We are really needing volunteers for this.
"There will be a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. on 9/11 at the exact time the planes hit the Twin Towers."
If you'd like to help, you can sign up for service projects, view events, and join the 9/11 community blog. For those who have their own service projects in mind, there's a United Way tool kit for support.
Following is a listing of just a few of the projects to consider. The United Way's website has a listing of more. If you would like to additional information about the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, e-mail Remember@stl.unitedway.org.
The Wyman Center provides a variety of services to enable teens from disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities. Volunteers are needed to help perform upkeep work on the campus in Eureka. Grounds help will include gardening, pulling weeds, trash removal and raking leaves.
When: 9 a.m.- Noon, Saturday, Sept. 10
Location: 600 Kiwanis Dr., Eureka, 63025
Volunteers Needed: up to 50
Flag Installation at Art Hill in Forest Park
Volunteers are needed to help set up the flag tribute. Around 3,000 flags need to be hammered into the ground for a Sunday tribute to those that died in the 9/11 attacks.
When: 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10
Location: Art Hill in Forest Park
Volunteers Needed: up to 100
Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Project
Volunteers will complete a variety of landscaping tasks to beautify the cemetery in which veterans of the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War l, World War ll and the Korean War are buried. Dred Scott's wife, Harriett, is also buried here.
When: 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11
Location: 6571 St. Louis Avenue, Hillsdale, 63121
Volunteers Needed: 350
O'Fallon Military Support Supply Boxing
Honor active military by boxing items to be shipped to active military members at the O'Fallon Municipal Centre. Partners include The Mission Continues and Operation Homefront.
When: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11
Volunteers Needed: 30
East St. Louis Community Impact Project
To improve public health conditions and build community pride, volunteers will pick up small and large trash items along city streets, paint stone murals, assist senior residents with modest home repairs and beautify the grounds of schools. Meet at East St. Louis Community College.
When: 1:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11
Location: 601 James R. Thompson Blvd., East St. Louis, IL 62201
Volunteers Needed: 800
Bingo! with Older Adults at Meramec Bluffs
Interact with residents of Lutheran Senior Services' Meramec Bluffs Care Center. Volunteers can serve as a bingo caller or helper during an afternoon of bingo with care center residents.
When: 1:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12
Volunteers Needed: 4