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RSVP Marks National Day Of Service With Clarksville, Paris Projects

By: Kelly Hamill, RSVP Coordinator

September 11 is Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Americans volunteer in their local communities in tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks, first responders, and the many who have risen in service to defend freedom.

On September 11, 2001, many lost their lives to the 9/11 attacks. Following the 9/11 tragedy, Americans at home and around the world came together, knowing that the things that divided us were smaller than those that united us. We came together as a nation despite divides, differences, and ideologies. We grieved as a community, cared for one another, and then began rebuilding and lifting our neighborhoods.

Each year, AmeriCorps works with 9/, grantees, partners, and faith-based, local, and national organizations to expand volunteering to honor the sacrifice of the families affected by September 11, 2001. Beginning in 2002, family members who lost loved ones led the effort for an appropriate and fitting tribute to honor their loved ones and those who volunteered to serve our country in response to the tragedy. The leadership and actions of these family members resulted in the legislative establishment of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance in April 2009. We charged AmeriCorps with supporting this effort across the county.

On this 21st anniversary of 9/11, thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds will participate in service projects ranging from food drives and home repairs to neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities. Volunteers will honor veterans, soldiers, or first responders in many areas by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank you letters.

Commemorating this occasion, the Red River Valley Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is inviting you to join us in honoring the victims and heroes of that day through acts of service that will recapture the spirit of unity that swept the nation in the wake of tragedy.

This year, RSVP is holding service projects in Clarksville and Paris to mark the day.

The Clarksville RSVP project assists the PRIDE City Beautification Program in decorating the Clarksville square in preparation for Labor Day festivities and the Red River County Fair and Fall Bazaar. Volunteers will meet at the PRIDE Lot on the court in Clarksville at 8:00 am on Wednesday, August 31. On August 31, volunteers will help hang patriotic bunting and assist in general cleanup around the square. Expect this service project to last about two hours.

In Paris, RSVP’s service project is to assist the Downtown Food Pantry in distributing Senior Box food items to older adults. Volunteers will meet at the Downtown Food Pantry, 124 W. Cherry Street, at 8:15 am on Monday, September 12. Volunteers will help load the food boxes into vehicles during this “drive-through” distribution which lasts from 8:15 am until 11:00 am.

If you are interested in either service activity, please get in touch with RSVP Coordinator Kelly Hamill at 903-782-0441.

On this National Day of Service and Remembrance, and throughout the year, Americans show their true patriotism by achieving together what we could never accomplish alone. One good deed can spark a passion and create relationships between communities and individuals that extend beyond this day to inspire a lifetime of service in all Americans.

Red River Valley RSVP is an AmeriCorps Seniors program sponsored by Paris Junior College and locally funded by the United Way of Lamar County.