How Does Your Brain Score? Take the Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment

Military and Veterans Discount

Giving Back

AARP Foundation

Help AARP Foundation win back opportunity for struggling Americans age 50 and over. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar spent goes directly to life-changing programs and services. Do



5 Tips for Finding the Best 9/11 Volunteer Opportunity for You

Experts offer advice for 10th anniversary

Mature runner on the Tunnel to Towers run - volunteer on 9/11 day

Runners make their way through the Battery Tunnel at the fifth annual firefighter Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run. — Todd Maisel/NY Daily News/Getty Images

En español | The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks will undoubtedly find more volunteers serving their communities than any previous observance. And there will be more volunteer opportunities for them to choose from as well.

How to make your choice? Begin with a quiet moment of reflection. Review your values and pinpoint your priorities. Chances are an opportunity waits nearby that feels important to you.

Find a 9/11 National Day of Service volunteer opportunity. >>

For more advice on picking the best option for you, we consulted people who have created much good from a day of grief. Here are their suggestions.

1. Every Act Counts.

David Paine and Jay Winuk, founders of

Inspiration. Winuk's brother, Glenn, was a volunteer firefighter who died on duty at the World Trade Center Towers. For Paine, inspiration came from the decision by the New York Mets baseball players shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, to donate a day of pay to a New York rescue workers fund.

Action. Winuk, 53, and Paine, 54, started MyGoodDeed to encourage all Americans to commemorate each September 11 with acts of service. After lobbying Congress for years for an annual national observance, they stood with Barack Obama as he signed a bill designating Sept. 11 as the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Tips. Put your experience to use. "The expertise of people who have lived a few years is an extraordinary national resource that goes untapped," Paine says.

Consider your talents when picking a cause. Health care workers, help a clinic in a poor neighborhood. Accountants, track donations for a charity. Teachers, explain the lessons learned from 9/11 day in class. Doctors, lawyers, business executives, parents — you get the idea.

Service needn't be as heroic as Winuk's brother's. "There was a couple in Boston who spent an early 9/11 anniversary walking the streets, putting quarters in expired parking meters," Winuk says. "Every act of kindness counts."

Next: Make a new personal connection. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discount & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.


Member Benefits AT&T Wireless Cell Phone

Members save 10% on the monthly service charge of qualified AT&T wireless plans.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $9.50 for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members earn points on select Walgreens-brand health and wellness products.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.