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3 min Read
Published August 14, 2013

Activate Good’s 9/11 Day of Service: Citizens Unite to Make Raleigh Awesome!

Once upon a time, in a past life, my teenage best friend and I had a dream. Yes. Exactly like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We wanted to make the world a better place.

We dreamed of bringing together masses of people to swarm the world with helping hands and see what exactly we could all build together.

Last year, I watched my best friend make that dream come true. I didn’t even know it was happening until I saw her on television standing next to the mayor. Words can’t describe how proud (and, yeah, okay, kind of jealous) I was. But really, Amber, I’m proud of you. Very.


Activate Raleigh.

Heather & Amber… at the beginning.

Amber Smith of Activate Good had collaborated with non-profits and businesses to provide corporate teams of volunteers to local charities. Individuals, too! With dozens of projects to choose from, everyone could volunteer! Of course, this collaboration is the result of dozens of non-profit and business leaders, all of whom work daily to improve our fair city.

But I didn’t see that. I just saw my best friend on television, hanging out with the mayor. She’d done it. She’d taken our dream and turned it into a reality.

The 9/11 Day of Service literally activates the secret superhero in each citizen. Sounds like something the Blue Beacon will definitely have to attend.

Guess what? It’s happening again this year! On August 14th, you’ll have the opportunity to search through a glorious Christmas-list of volunteer events to join on September 11th!


Here are some of my favorites:

  • BEST Raleigh will be sending 100 volunteers around Downtown Raleigh with post-it notes to ask people “What do you love?” The answers will be posted on a vacant window on Fayetteville Street as a work of art that reminds all Raleigh-ites all the things that make life worth living–and how much we all have in common.
  • The Hillsborough Street Clean and Safe program is sending teams of volunteers to beautify Hillsborough Street. Cleaning up the heart of downtown seems like a fantastic way to improve our city, get some exercise, and feel the pulse of our city right beneath your feet.
  • The Southeast Raleigh Assembly, Inc. is asking volunteers to provide a day of companionship for senior citizens. Assisting with fun art projects, coupon clipping, or even shopping or a day on the town–I have a passion for senior citizens, so this sounds like a fun project to me!
  • North Raleigh Ministries is building a community garden. This is such an amazing way to knit our community together. It helps the environment. It’s a way to enjoy fresh air. It provides healthy, fresh, local food. How is this not awesome?


Seriously, I can’t list all the fun events happening in our city that prove humanity is far more good than the events of 9/11 would have us believe. There’s trail-making at Raleigh Parks, soup-serving at Raleigh Rescue Mission, and care packages being made for India.

You can clean Falls Lake or help improve Moore Square. Everywhere you look in your city, there’ll be dozens of people building and growing and helping. That’s the dream.

You can sign up today on their website:  Activate Good.

So please, be a part of my high school dreams. Of Amber’s high school dreams that she–and you, and us–are making reality. I’m sure you’ve heard about Activate Good’s 9/11 Day of Service on the news. This is the personal side of it. The roots. It started with a couple of dreaming high school students and ended–well, who knows where it’ll end?

Maybe it won’t.

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  • heather


  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. All my articles.

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