By Gary Bagley, Executive Director, New York Cares
This month marked the first observance of September 11 as a national day of service and remembrance.
New York Cares is committed to making volunteering part of every New Yorker’s life, and I was glad to see the day dedicated to rekindling the spirit of community service that helped rebuild New York City after 9/11.
This year, New York Cares ran special volunteer projects with MyGoodDeed at PS76M in Harlem. 150 volunteers spent the day working with 3rd and 4th graders on service-themed literacy projects, painting murals, and prepping the school for the new school year.
Three of our Team Leaders were honored to read names of 9/11 victims alongside family members at the memorial service at Ground Zero. I was gratified to see so many of our volunteers making a difference.
We welcomed many new volunteers on 9/11; I hope they’ll come back and consider participating year round. Whatever time they have to give, New York Cares can help them use it productively and for the good of all New Yorkers.
This could be the busiest school year in New York Cares’ history. Schools, homeless shelters, and community centers are facing huge budget challenges. They are trying to do more with less, dramatically increasing the need for volunteers.
New York Cares is being called upon to the fill the gap between the flood of volunteers who want to give their time and people who desperately need their help. We need everyone’s support to meet these needs.
I thank every volunteer who came out in service for the city in honor of 9/11, veteran volunteers and first-timers alike.
I especially encourage people who did their first projects this month to get more involved. I hope your efforts will be the first of many.