Anniversary: Mark 9/11 with Acts of Kindness weekend

Acts of Kindness weekend is a powerful example of the creative ways communities can transform anxious energy and anger into community service and wind up strengthening bonds between neighbors.

Acts of Kindness Weekend: Syracuse, New York

SYRACUSE, New York: Here’s a story about a Syracuse, New York, effort for Acts of Kindness Weekend focused on beautifying a cemetery where graves sometimes are neglected. But that’s not all! Here’s a Syracuse University summary of other acts of kindness blossoming around this 9/11.

Think that’s all? Hardly! Here’s yet another website from Syracuse packed with local events.

Acts of Kindness Weekend: Detroit, Michigan

DETROIT, Michigan: Another major hub of activity this weekend in the Acts of Kindness campaign is Detroit, Michigan, a city not always famous for its compassion. This weekend, Detroit will glow with the energy of hundreds of volunteers. The key Detroit website for Acts of Kindness Weekend is right here.

The Detroit group issued this statement summarizing plans in southeast Michigan:

Hundreds of volunteers will mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with two days of community service activities centered around southwest Detroit, Sept. 11-12. The local effort is connected to a national initiative called Acts of Kindness and is being supported by a wide range of religious, cultural and civic organizations in the community.

“Acts of Kindness was developed as part of the national movement to transform the date of September 11th from a day of mourning into a day for people to come together, working side by side to make their communities a better place, to learn from each other, and to build stronger relationships,” according to Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership programs at the Detroit Regional Chamber and one of the Acts of Kindness organizers.

Projects will range from painting, installing benches and cleaning up at Boyer, Clark and Patton parks, restoring a mural at the Boys & Girls Club on Livernois and other projects.

“I think this weekend of remembrance and renewal holds a great deal of promise for the City of Detroit, and hopefully, will evoke a sense of lasting volunteer involvement every day,” according to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.

Partners include Greening of Detroit, the Clark Park Coalition, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, and the Mercy Education Project. Organizations that have committed support include WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Metro Detroit), the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, ACCESS, City Year, 1 By Youth, and Leadership Detroit.

“Southwest Detroit, one of our region’s most diverse communities, is honored to be a part of this event that sets the perfect tone of peace, collaboration, and tolerance that defines America and gives our nation the strength to overcome tragedies like 9/11,” according to Anthony Benavides, director of the Clark Park Coalition.

“The energy behind this effort has really started to mushroom,” according to Gail Katz, who serves on the boards of WISDOM and the Interfaith Leadership Council and is one of the project organizers. “In addition to the benefits our service will provide the community, we’re looking forward to bringing together religious communities and other groups into this weekend of remembrance and renewal.”

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m . Sept. 11 at Clark Park, on Vernor Hwy. in Detroit. To volunteer or for more information, see

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