American Red Cross Participates In First Official 9/11 Day of Service

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PLAINFIELD – The Tri-County Red Cross is taking part in the first official Sept. 11 Day of Service and Remembrance, a day established by President Barack Obama and Congress to honor the sacrifices of Sept. 11 heroes, and engage more Americans in serving their communities. The President of the United States serves as the honorary Chair of the American Red Cross.

The Tri-County Red Cross will be collecting items needed to replenish disaster kits in remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001 and in an effort to engage more Union, Somerset and Middlesex county residents in working to strengthen their communities through out the year.

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“The anniversary of 9/11 reminds us that there is always time to sacrifice, to give of ourselves for others,” said Nathan Rudy, Executive Director of the Tri-County Red Cross.  “People can show their support by local disaster victims of home fires or floods by donating small items that mean so much.”

In April, the President signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and officially recognized Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance for the first time.  This Sept. 11, Americans will join together in service projects across all fifty states and re-commit to serving their communities.

Sept. 11, 2009 will mark the first milestone in the United We Serve initiative, Obama’s nationwide initiative to create a sustained, collaborative, and focused effort to meet community needs.  The day will be an opportunity for all Americans to recommit to volunteering throughout the year. The initiative is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that improves lives and strengthens communities though volunteering and service.

Individuals looking to support the Tri-County Red Cross can donate the following items:

  • Lightly worn or used clothing and shoes;
  • Old cell phones (no cords);
  • Unopened and unexpired travel size toothpaste, shampoo and other personal items;
  • Used ink-jet printer cartridges;
  • Small crayon packs (3-4 crayons in a wrapped package).

These items will be used to meet current disaster needs including Red Cross services provided to our armed forces and local residents who are displaced from their homes due to disaster.  Individuals interested in service opportunities with the Tri-County Red Cross on or around Sept. 11 can visit www.tricountyredcross.org.

Since January 2009, local Red Cross volunteers have responded for hundreds of residents in Union, Somerset and Middlesex counties in need, including an apartment fire where 37 people were left homeless on May 19, 2009 in Elizabeth.  Disaster kits were provided on the scene to give the essentials of a tooth brush, tooth paste, soap and shampoo, in addition to food, clothing and shelter for these Elizabeth residents through the Disaster Relief Fund.

The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Tri-County Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, clothing, shelter and other critical services.  The Red Cross responds to 70,000 disasters each year – the majority of them “silent” disasters never making the news.  After tragedy strikes, the Red Cross relies on this fund to mobilize volunteers and resources to help communities throughout the United States.


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