Under a bipartisan federal law passed in 2009, Congress has designated September 11th as the National Day of Service and Remembrance to mark the way our country came together as a nation after the terror attacks 16 years ago. Each year individuals, communities, and organizations in every state across the country come together united through volunteerism and service honoring the victims of 9/11.
AARP was built on the core beliefs of volunteerism, service, and civic engagement. Our founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus captured this when she said “To serve, not to be served", a statement that is our organizational motto to this day. Each year AARP staff and volunteers around the country participate in National Day of Service through volunteer projects in local communities. As this year’s Day of Service activity, AARP New Jersey partnered with the Somerset Patriots baseball team to host a unique community food drive and a fun movie night at the ballpark. Community members were invited to a free screening of the 2017 live action feature Beauty and the Beast and were asked to bring a non-perishable food item for donation as their admission fee.
The response from the community was huge, with over 500 people signing up to attend. Community members of all ages: children, parents, and grandparents came out to help honor National Day of Service and enjoy a unique night out with friends and neighbors. There was a local face painter on hand, pictures with the players and team mascots, and of course, all the requisite movie snacks! Participants were able to watch the movie from picnic blankets in the outfield or in the stands under the stars.
The Somerset Patriots baseball players and coaches were on hand to help collect and pack the food donations which were given to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, a local food bank serving approximately 750 local families a year. In all, over 11 bins of non-perishable food items were collected for donation; a total of approximately 400 pounds of food!
To find out more about the National Day of Service, visit: https://911day.org/. To find out about local volunteer opportunities in your area, not only on Day of Service but throughout the year, please visit: http://www.createthegood.org/