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Volunteers gather to remember 20th anniversary of 9/11

Communities Foundation of Texas volunteered at Buckner to turn day of tragedy into good

Over the weekend, more than 50 people from Communities Foundation of Texas volunteered at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. 

Volunteers enthusiastically worked together to sort and pack shoes, write encouraging notes to the children who would receive the shoes, and pack boxes of food to send internationally. 

The day of service at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid was part of the Communities Foundation of Texas’ Freedom Day, a day devoted to service in memory of 9/11. Freedom Day was created right after the tragic events of 9/11 as a way to lift spirits and build people up while remembering the historic moment in American history. 

“We decided the best way to deal with morphing the memory into something positive and to create a sense of hope was to do community service because that’s something everybody could do. People can get lost in the service, but what makes this day different is the intent. It’s to build the memory and to never forget what happened. It’s a different atmosphere and purpose,” said Pam Gerber, a Communities Foundation of Texas volunteer instrumental in creating Freedom Day. 

More than 500 volunteers participated in Freedom Day through service projects for 22 nonprofits in Denton, Collin, Tarrant and Dallas Counties. 

For Debbie Pon, volunteering on this day is a way to remember the event and pass it on to future generations who don’t have firsthand memories of 9/11. This year, Debbie and her 16-year-old daughter, worked side-by-side as they sorted and packed shoes to be distributed to children in need through Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls. 

“Everyone is coming from office jobs and all they want to do is serve,” Debbie said. “They go above and beyond and there is a spirit of camaraderie. I know we’re giving service to others, but it also benefits me personally … sharing this with my family.”

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