9/11 Day 2012

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This September, in honor of the National Day of Service and Remembrance, the generationOn Youth Advisory Council members organized service projects to fill the void left on the tragic day of 9/11.

Each member's project completes the equation:

9 ____ 11 _____.

Read about their projects below.

Aulona Graham-Simms

Project: 9 plates, 11 minutes

Issue Area: Hunger


  • Project Description

*    We made booths representing 9 countries and serve native dishes

*    Volunteers will work with each country's booth

*    A central idea (food) will draw each country together


  • Community Need Addressed

*    This project will help show cultural diversity and unity

*    It will also show the community becoming a whole

*    It will also bring cultural tolerance

  • Resources Needed

*    Sponsors, volunteers, money

*    Photographer

*    Food

Calla Gilson

Project: Blood Battle: 9 days, 110 pints

Issue Area: Health


  • Project Description

*    Two rival high schools will compete to prove that they have what it takes to make their mark on the world through an opportunity to determine who can donate the most blood in 9 days. This blood donation challenge will be held in remembrance of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which took away considerable life.  In honor of this National Day of Service, any member of the community will be able to donate at the designated location to provide our community with the precious gift of life in honor or our great nation's resilience. Each donor will indicate their contribution  to the running total of either school. Together, the goal is to collect at least 110 pints of blood through-out the drive, and raise awareness of emergency preparedness and the need for blood donation.


  • Community Need Addressed

*    September 11th Remembrance

*    Disaster Relief

*    Emergency Preparedness

*    Healthy Competition/ Rivalry Through Service

*    Engaging Community Within Local Schools

*    Involving The Teenage Demographic In Service


  • Resources Needed

*    Publicity Resources (posters, morning announcements at area high schools etc.)

*    Media Awareness/ Involvement (local News and Radio to both be running ads/stories)

*    Connections to Donors (through both high schools, involving alumni, parents, church congregations etc.)

*    Student volunteers from both schools to work the front desk and canteen at the donation center

Cole Ettingoff

Project: Back to School: 9 events, 11 organizations

Issue Area:

Youth Engagement

  • Project Description

*    Safe Sex Kit Packaging (Monday)

*    Making Blankets For Patients at A Local Hospital (Tuesday)

*    Service Showcase (Tuesday)

*    Park Clean-Up (Wednesday)

*    Meals on Wheels Delivery (Wednesday)

*    Arts Work Project (Wednesday)

*    Lunch Packaging for Homeless Shelter (Thursday)

*    Kick Off Mentoring Session (Thursday)

*    Book Drive (Throughout the Week)


  • Community Need Addressed

The week as a whole is designed to kick start a school year full of service and encourage students to try service often for the first time.

Issues specifically addressed include:

*    Literacy

*    Public Spaces

*    Blight

*    Hunger

*    Youth Development

*    Youth Involvement


  • Resources Needed

*    Each Project will have its own supplies.

*    Kits (assorted health materials provided by local not for profit, heat sealers, sealable bags)

*    Hospital Blankets (Easy Knit Fleece, sealable bags, heat sealers)

*    Showcase (poster board, printed materials)

*    Park Clean-Up ( gloves, clippers, rakes, shovels, water cooler, trash bags, and first aid kit)

*    Meals on Wheels (pre-made frozen meals, transportation provided by volunteers, delivery lists)

*    Arts Work Projects (construction bags, shovels, off white outdoor paint, brushes, ladder)

*    Lunch Packing (paper bags, ziplocks, large bags of chips, loafs of bread, peanut butter, jelly, gloves, and plastic knives)

*    Mentoring (nametags, pens)

*    Book Drive (Boxes to collect books, promotional posters)

Kelsey Leeper

Project: 9 teams, 11 items

to support our troops

Issue Area:  Military


  • Project Description

All nine of my high school's fall sport teams will be competing to see who can bring in the most items to send to our troops and families from a list of 11 needed items. This list has been created with the help of the Fisher House, an on-base place for troops and their families to stay. The event will take place all week and during this time, teams will bring in their items and they will be boxed up. Following the event, the items will be taken to the military base and the winning team will get a prize. There will also be an announcement shown or assembly to show how much was brought in and talk about 9/11.


  • Community Need Addressed

Our military personnel often don't have enough supplies, whether it be phone cards to call family or basic toiletry items that help with daily living. Providing them with these items would be a way to give back to those who serve us every day. Living close to a military base, many of my classmates and members of the community have a connection to it and with this will be motivated to help those they know.


  • Resources Needed

*    Ask for donated boxes from postal service or stores with surplus

*    Fisher House to help organize what is needed and where it will be sent

*    All nine fall sport teams (football, soccer, cross country, golf, swimming, volleyball, tennis, dance team, cheer)

*    Extra volunteers for boxing up and delivering items after the collection

*    Leadership team and room to keep event running and store items throughout the week

*    Local printing stores for flyers and other advertising materials 

Lance Oppenheim

Project: 900 students, 11 minutes

Issue Area: Social Awareness


  • Project Description

*    For this eleventh year of commemoration, I will be sending Reconciliation, my 9/11 documentary, to be screened at several local schools, including my own. Additionally, at my school, I plan on inviting those interviewed in the documentary (and who were directly affected by the devastation of the September 11th attacks) for a question and answer panel and also will be leading the school's commemorative events. 


  • Community Need Addressed

*    I believe that this project will directly address the social awareness among current youth (many who were too young to fully grasp 9/11's significance).


  • Resources Needed

*    Local schools to distribute the documentary

*    Youth (specifically my post-production team) to help assemble the screening

Marc Berson

Project: 9 classrooms, 110 books

Issue Area: Literacy


  • Project Description

Cafe Freedom, a student organization dedicated to mobilizing youth to engage in community-wide improvement, will commemorate September 11 by giving back to our community. Our goal is to collect 110 books to disseminate to 9 classrooms of economically disadvantaged elementary school children. The books will be distributed to the schools in September for use in the in-class library or to supplement home reading materials. In addition to helping young children get a great start to the school year with resources that foster their success as early readers, we also are focusing on collecting books that highlight themes of civic engagement, such as Martin's Big Words, The Lorax, The Giving Tree, and Henry's Freedom Box.

  • Community Need Addressed

In 2006, data from the Florida Department of Education showed that 35% of Hillsborough County children were unprepared to read. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to each day than children in families at or above the poverty line (The National Center for Education Statistics, NCES Fast Facts, Family Reading). Seven of every ten fourth grade students cannot read at grade level, and children in the poorest families are six times as likely as children in more affluent families to drop out of school ("The State of America's Children." Children's Defense Fund, 2004). This project will support classrooms at one of our Title 1 Elementary Schools.  At Title 1 schools, most students are from a low socio-economic background. Children from low socio-economic backgrounds have a range of barriers to overcome to become proficient readers. The children have fewer books at home, more limited access to educational materials (books, computers, magazines), and may receive lower levels of encouragement to read. Therefore, one of my goals is to be able to provide students with resources in order to foster their success.

This project will specifically address:

*    Literacy

*    Under-resourced classrooms

*    Poverty


  • Resources Needed

*    Youth Volunteers

*    Books

*    An Elementary School Partner

Nayah Boucaud

Project: 9 dreams, 11 actions

Issue Area:

Intergenerational Connections

  • Project Description

*    Everyone has at least one dream. Whether that dream is massive and complex like the Twin Towers or small and delicate like the planes that destroyed them, that is up to the person. But like those planes, dreams can make big differences in lives, on countries and in communities. On September 11th 2001, thousands of dreams were shattered instantaneously. Plans of starting a family were gone for mothers and fathers and plans of going to college for kids and teenagers were no more. It is important to remember the people who died during those attacks, but what about the many dreams of those people? For my 2012 9/11 Service project, I want to honor those dreams through the 9 Dreams, 11 Actions project. Nine teams of students (two to four persons in one group) will come up with a community dream and 11 Actions to make that dream happen. For example, a team may come up with, "I dream that I can give out 50 free lunches to the homeless in my community by January." We will then accomplish all nine dreams within two years. This will help our service club develop with our service project ideas already set for the future. It will also help us, as communities understand that dreams can come true with hard work. Through four meetings, over twenty people involved and reflection forms and activities, our dreams will eventually be accomplished. This 9/11, we are clearing the wreckage, our minds and our negative memories and making room for more dreams...


  • Community Need Addressed

*    Builds 9/11 awareness and understanding to communities, and especially for children who may not understand exactly what 9/11 is.

*    Fosters intergenerational conversations within communities.

*    Promotes literacy skills by giving students opportunities to interoperate, create and communicate original written pieces individually and as teams based on the 9/11 events and the visions victims may have had during 9/11.

*    Encourages constructive brainstorming and goal setting through future community service project plans and "Action Building" for each vision.

*    Encourages team building within multiple activities for future projects and future activities.

*    Allows the communities of members, interviewees, members, parents and leaders as one understand the importance of this special day and why it is honored.


  • Resources Needed


*    A team of at least 18 people in my community

*    A survivor, firefighter or person who can recall events during 9/11 to guest speak at the final meeting.

*    9/11 Memorial Museum representative for me to recieve postcards.


*    Money for three prizes.


*    Online Resources to help explain 9/11 to members.

Rachel Ley

Project: 9 youth groups, 1100 book packages

Issue Area: Literacy


  • Project Description

*    The project I am organizing for 9/11 will involve 9 youth groups, including student councils, sports teams, and classrooms, in making 1,100 book packages for Literacy for Little Ones.  Literacy for Little Ones is a program I founded in April of 2009 that donates book packages to three local hospitals so that every family with a child born receives a new book and a letter to the parents explaining the importance of early literacy. To execute this project, we will need to reach out to 9+ youth groups, to see what groups would be willing to participate in this project.  I, along with some Literacy for Little Ones volunteers, will create a video explaining how to put the book packages together and the message of 9/11 as a service day that can be shown to the different youth groups.  As founder of Literacy for Little Ones, I will order books and materials for the project which will be distributed to the various youth groups participating.  Each youth group will make approximately 120 book packages, totaling to 1,100 book packages.  I will then go around to the different youth groups with youth volunteers and collect the completed book packages which will be distributed to local hospitals involved with Literacy for Little Ones.


  • Community Need Addressed

*    The 9/11 Project will address early literacy by collaborating with Literacy for Little Ones.  In the first three years of life, a child's brain grows to 90% of their eventual adult brain weight, making early literacy so important.  This project will also get a large number of youth directly involved in service.


  • Resources Needed

*    9 youth groups who are willing and excited to participate in the project

*    1,100 books and materials to create the book packages, which Literacy for Little Ones is able to provide

*    Sponsorship of a local pizza place to try and create a fun competition between the groups as well

Rachel Shuster

Project: 9 veterans, 11 volunteers

Issue Area: Veteran Affairs


  • Project Description

*    The generationOn Kids Care Club, Kids Care HHH, will visit a local VA Hospital. At the hospital the volunteers will meet with veterans and participate in a craft project as well as a recreational activity.

The volunteers will also get a chance to speak with the veterans to discuss their stories.


  • Community Need Addressed

*    This project addresses the issue of honoring local service men and women. It is important to give back to the men and women that have risked their own lives for our country.


  • Resources Needed

*    Supplies for craft project

*    Volunteers

Ruchita Zaparde

Project: 90 minutes, 11 years later

Issue Area: Awareness Building


  • Project Description

*    11 high school speakers recalling their thoughts and experiences on the events of 9/11

*    This will be for a younger audience

*    This project will help motivate kids of all ages in the future to help those struggling with the memories of 9/11


  • Community Need Addressed

*    Kids of younger ages do not know about the events of 9/11, but they should know and be aware.

*    This project will help motivate them in the future to help those struggling with the memories of 9/11


  • Resources Needed

*    Speakers (high school students and some adults)

*    Flyers/posters in library and supermarkets

Tharon Truillo

Project: 9 pledges, 11 days

Issue Area:  Anti-Bullying



  • Project Description

90 Pledges to encourage the support of an anti-bullying initiative in 11 days 

*    Poster boards in schools

*    Pledging site on Facebook

*    Getting the word out in media, boards and by word of mouth


  • Community Need Addressed

Bullying is a huge problem in schools and we need to try to get the message out

*    Create knowledge about bullying 

*    Explain that it is okay to talk to someone you trust

*    Explaining the different ways of bullying and providing real life stories


  • Resources Needed

*    Possible guest speaker

*    Contact county of education to obtain support to go to all schools in our area to display boards and to talk about the bullying initiative

*    Contact media for awareness

*    Utilize Facebook to capture "likes" to pledge votes

*    The Reach Coalition will help in this process  

Tiffani Alexander

Project: 9 businesses, 11 shelters

Issue Area: Homelessness,

Domestic violence and Child Abuse

  • Project Description

*    As a result of our nation's economy, homelessness has increased. These types of issues can lead to stress which may cause an increase in domestic violence and child abuse. In an effort to assist with basic care needs, I am asking 9 local businesses (hotels, grocery stores, etc.) to donate toiletries to 11 shelters (homeless, battered women, and/or women and children).


  • Community Need Addressed

*    My project addresses homelessness, domestic violence and child abuse (i.e. issues that cause displacement from one's home, whether temporarily or permanently).


  • Resources Needed

*    People (to help collect and deliver toiletries)

*    Organizations/businesses (to provide toiletries or money to purchase toiletries)

*    Transportation (to pick up and deliver toiletries)

Tyler Bleuel

Project: 9 -11 am Park Beautification

Issue Area: Environment


  • Project Description

*    Organize a group of kids from my school and the community to help pitch in to help clean up a local park for two hours

*    We will gather at the park and with the help of the local park conservancy, we will clear away dead/ dying plants, pull weeds, and do anything else that could improve the park


  • Community Need Addressed

*    Weeds are threatening more important plants

*    Dead/dying trees could fall and injure people

*    Because we will work in a popular park, this project could make people's day to day lives a little bit better by having the park be more beautiful, in addition to improving the environment


  • Resources Needed

*    Tools

*    Shovels

*    Gardening gloves

*    Pruners

*    Large Garbage Bags

Zachary Odegard

Project: 9 Schools, 1100 students

Issue Area:  Disaster Preparedness

  • Project Description

*    Preparing the community for natural disasters especially flooding that is critical in my community. On the 11th we will be making 72 hour emergency starter kits for needy families at a local school. Later in the month we will be working with the HandsOn Network at a get ready event to help prepare the public for natural disasters, and atthe end of September we will hold a training on how to properly bag sand bags for flooding.


  • Community Need Addressed

*    Flooding is a problem in the fall in my state. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to properly fill a sand bag so they are useless. Also, people are always and willing to help during natural disasters but may not be properly trained. This series of projects will help facilitate and train people on what to do when a natural disaster occurs.


  • Resources Needed

*    Supplies for 72 hour kits, tables, chairs, pop up tent, sand and bags for instructional class and flyers on emergency preparedness. CERT- a community emergency response team will be helping me with training and supplies will be provided by my local HandsOn Network Action Center.

  • How will you fill the void? Check out the generationOn Do Your Own Thing Guide to get started planning your own project

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