September 11th is Patriot Day and a National Day of Service and Remembrance. On this day Americans across the country are called to 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. Here are some ideas on how you can serve in your community:

1. Donate to Nonprofits
Cash donations are the best way to support the nonprofit of your choice. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) has a list of organizations supporting COVID-19 response efforts. Guidestar and Great Nonprofits also have search engines to locate organizations that need help.

2. Donate or Volunteer Safely with Food Banks and Pantries
Donate to food banks and pantries to help them stock up or volunteer at a food bank that needs help packing and sorting food using safe practices. Visit Feeding America or Food Pantries to find an organization near you.

3. Deliver Meals and Groceries to Vulnerable Seniors
Help out someone you know or contact your local Meals on Wheels to learn ways to volunteer.

4. Help a School
Check with your area school system to see if they need volunteers to distribute food (or other items) to children and families in need.

5. Give Blood
Blood donations have decreased dramatically. Help fill the need by contacting your local Red Cross or other blood donation sites.

6. Become a Medical Volunteer
Trained medical volunteers can offer their services by registering with a National VOAD member. Medical professionals and others can help locally by joining the Medical Reserve Corps or registering through the Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals.

7. Donate Medical Supplies and Equipment
If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please email FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center at

8. Stay in Touch
Check on your neighbors, friends, and family – especially those who are older or may be alone. A phone call, text, or a conversation through the door could brighten their day.

9. Serve in Your Community
Many states are identifying local volunteer opportunities; visit your State Service Commission’s website for details.

10. Volunteer from Home
Prefer to volunteer while staying at home? Check out for service ideas.

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