There is not one person who was not touched, directly or indirectly, by the events of 9/11/2001. The spirit of unity, compassion, and service born during that horrific time has been harnessed every September 11th thereafter, and has become the largest day of charitable engagement in the US. National 9/11 Day compels us to commit a day of service in remembrance, as championed by 911day.org.
In other words, 9/11 Day urges everyone to volunteer somewhere, do something for your community, or as we’d say – show you give a damn with action. A national day of service across the country, when examined individually, is actually millions of single hours of picking up trash around neighborhoods, days of driving meals to the homebound, and afternoons of sitting vigil with someone nearing the end of his or her life so they don’t die alone. 9/11 Day is evolving into a call to service in honor of the unity and compassion that we all felt after September 11, 2001.
At Cabot, we honor the spirit of service that Americans felt after 9/11 because our farmers know that it is volunteering that shapes a community and strengthens lives. For us, volunteers are our nation’s true celebrities. Or as our friend Stephen Kiernan has documented in his book Authentic Patriotism, America’s finest patriots not only respond to a crisis but also take slow, deliberate, decade-long steps to affect life-altering improvement.
The farm families behind the cheddar that has won every major award for taste don’t advertise their brand very broadly. What these dairy farmers can afford is to honor what they do in their communities and reward like-minded folks in communities where their products are sold. Our farmers’ idea of marketing is to celebrate and recognize the people and the organizations who make lives and communities better. Give them cheese for fundraisers; give them free programs like plays for schools and soccer tips from Julie Foudy; connect them with programs like GiveGab to help them find more opportunities to give back… and so much more. But most poignantly, to design and fulfill a reward volunteer program, Cabot partners with exceptionally cool companies to give folks vacations, cash for their non-profits, free cheese or a new pair of shoes. Bcorps, Cooperatives, as well as Vermont companies add even more prizes.
On 9/11, show off your optimism and true character by volunteering somewhere. GiveGab has so many places that could use your help. Then on 9/12 and everyday thereafter, use the Reward Volunteers web-based program to be rewarded for your contributions. And by posting about your community service and sharing on your non-profits social platforms, you might just inspire others to do the same.
Click here to learn more about Reward Volunteers!