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Habitat lends voice to call for national service day

Habitat for Humanity International joins One Day’s Pay, an organization that encourages people to annually “give back to the community at least a day’s payment of service,” to seek a new initiative to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the largest terrorist attack on American soil

Habitat lends voice to call for national service day
Leading 9/11 organizations urge nation to observe Sept. 11 as day of voluntary service, charity, compassion

NEW YORK, NY, July 14, 2004 – As the anniversary of Sept. 11 draws near, the nation braces for a national day of remembrance. One Day’s Pay, an organization that encourages people to annually “give back to the community at least a day’s payment of service,” is launching a new initiative to remember and honor those who lost their lives in the largest terrorist attack on American soil.



At a kick-off for its 2004 campaign at St. Paul’s Chapel across from Ground Zero, One Day’s Pay is focusing on establishing Sept. 11 as a national day of volunteer service.

The initiative drew an estimated one million participants last year, and the group hopes to more than double that in September 2004. Many non-profit groups from around the nation, including 9/11 relief organizations, along with Habitat for Humanity International, the American Red cross and many others, are working together to expand the scope of the initiative.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island, also announced in Washington today, that in support of One Day’s Pay, he introduced a Congressional Resolution urging the president to designate Sept. 11 as a national day of voluntary service.

“Nothing could be a more wonderful tribute to those lost than to rekindle each year millions of expressions of personal compassion toward those most in need,”

King said. “It would be an appropriate, meaningful legacy indeed, and I call upon Congress … and the President to adopt a proclamation designating 9/11 as a day of voluntary service, charity and compassion.”

“Five years from now, the idea of observing 9/11 as a day of service as well as a day of loss, will be well understood and widely embraced throughout this nation,” said David Paine, president and co-founder of New York-based One Day’s Pay. “In 2003, we made significant strides building initial awareness and support. This year, we are taking another very important and significant step forward, and are delighted by the remarkable show of unity and support from so many important organizations and elected officials.”

Leading 9/11 groups unified in support
Together, leaders from a number of 9/11 groups, including the Coalition of 9/11 Families, Families of September 11, September’s Mission, Tuesday’s Children, Voices of September 11th, Where To Turn, World Trade Center United Family Group, and WTC Survivors Network called upon the nation to consider setting aside 9/11 on a permanent basis as a day for voluntary acts of unity, service and compassion.

“On this matter of how best to mark Sept.11, the 9/11 family organizations are unanimous,” said Nikki Stern, director of Families of September 11. “We believe the best way for the nation to pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much is to rekindle, at least for one day out of the year, the remarkable spirit of unity and compassion that brought this nation together following the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history.”

Joining 2003 co-founders, the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, Youth Service America, and Citizen Corps in recognition of One Day’s Pay are the American Red Cross, Business Strengthening America, Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity International and New York Cares.

One Day’s Pay web site provides many helpful ideas
Individuals and organizations are invited to visit to make pledges to engage in personal or organized acts of service on or around 9/11. This information is kept confidential and used solely to help track the number of participants in the campaign.

The web site also provides many suggestions, search engines and other resources to help individuals and groups find and sign up for a wide range of volunteer and service opportunities. People can make appointments to give blood, prepare a disaster plan, schedule volunteer orientations, and donate money to more than 850,000 charities registered through Network for Good, a national non-profit that processes charitable donations for other charities.

The site also details opportunities with Habitat for Humanity, search for local Goodwill collection centers, join community-based Citizen Corps to assist in local disaster preparedness programs and locate volunteer centers serving their communities through the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network.

Corporate funding and employee participation nationwide
The organization has received an initial seed grant of $50,000 from JP Morgan Chase, a leading financial institution. The group’s goal is to raise nearly half a million dollars by July 2005.

“The people of our company, like virtually everyone in New York, have a

first-hand and very personal understanding of the hardships created by 9/11 as well as the remarkable show of humanity that arose in response to it,” said Pamela Kersey, chief operating officer, The JP MorganChase Foundation. “Our organization is one of the largest employers in the state of New York, with a very active workplace volunteer program, and we are extremely pleased to help support an initiative with such wonderful intentions, to encourage people to help others as a way to remember those lost and injured.”

In addition to JP Morgan, nine other corporations – AT&T, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, ING Clarion, Ingram Micro, Inc., KPMG, the office of the National Football League, and Verizon – have pledged to spread the word about the initiative to their employees.

About One Day’s Pay
One Day’s Pay Inc., is a New York-based 501c3 non-profit organization established in 2002 to encourage the observance of September 11 as a national day of voluntary service, charity and compassion. Last year, One Day’s Pay captured thousands of stories of personal expressions of service in observance of 9/11: A couple in Boston put quarters in expired parking meters. A woman in Texas organized her own volunteer group called “Shoes for Austin” that provides sneakers to underprivileged children and families. A man in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., helped teachers buy needed classroom supplies. Children at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, D.C., constructed an outdoor memorial path of 10 mosaic stepping-stones and a bench to provide a place of healing. More than 200 students at Holy Cross College in Massachusetts provided community service in South Worcester, and printed up their own One Day’s Pay T-shirts. One Day’s Pay is supported by the generous contributions of private citizens and organizations including JP Morgan Chase.