To commemorate the 9/11 tragedy and turn it into something positive, have your small business participate in a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Here’s how …
Editor’s note: This story was last updated August 25, 2021
September 11 is a challenging day for Americans. So many lives were lost and so much of our country’s security was quickly brought into question. Suffice to say, life in the United States hasn’t been (and won’t be) the same since.
However, as we look back on this fateful day, many people find solace in transforming the somber day into a reason to do some extra good in the world. They’ve turn it into a day of positive action, not just remembrance.
Many businesses and their workers continue to deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes finding the time to figure out the best way to remember 9/11 hard to come by. Use this list of good deeds as inspiration.
Zenefits is turning 9/11 into a day of remembrance by asking its employees to do a good deed. This poster lists 11 examples that employees can take part of, inspired by www.911day.org.
Write a kind note to a first responder
First responders are still out there doing everything they can, from dealing with COVID-19 to fighting West Coast wildfires. Whether you want to pick an issue that first responders are dealing with that’s close to home or you want to support something far away, simply taking the day as an opportunity to show those on the front lines how much they’re appreciated is a great way to express gratitude.
Pick up trash in your company’s neighborhood
Taking a couple of hours out of your day as a company to beautify your neighborhood to make it a better place for everyone to enjoy is a great way to turn the day into something of a team building activity, too. You can have employees go in shifts to volunteer if everyone can’t head out of the office at once, or you can make a company-wide afternoon of it. Remember to mask up and social distance.
Help scientists stop COVID-19
9/11 was absolutely a tragedy, but we have another more immediate one in our midst that has plenty of room for help — the COVID-19 pandemic. What better way to remember a past tragedy than work to preventing another one? It can seem like overwhelming issue to contribute to or it might be something for which your small business or many of your employees are already doing what they can, but there’s always something else to do, like sharing your personal experience and health information with scientists working to halt the pandemic.
Make it easy for your employees to register to vote
There are various gubernatorial and state legislative elections, mayoral races, and more this year. As a small business, you can make it convenient for your employees to register to vote and do it completely a-politically. Depending on how your state does it, you can print out voter registration forms and hand out stamped envelopes along with them to make getting a physical form in the mail as easy as possible. If your state does it electronically, you can share the link with your employees along with an easy-to-read list of what people need to register to vote.
If your employees are super stars and already registered, the next best thing is to help them make a commitment to vote — even just signing a pledge can make people more likely to turn out.
Show appreciation to your delivery people
These people are integral parts of running your business in normal times. In the current pandemic era, they are literal lifelines. One way to take action on 9/11 is by showing them how much you appreciate them putting their lives on the line each day to bring your business the things it needs to function. Whether that’s surprising them with cookies, lunch on you, a gift card to a local business, or simply a fat tip along the lines of a holiday bonus, use the day to not only tell them how much they matter, but show them too.
Support local restaurants and fellow small businesses
Many small businesses have been struggling the past year. Why not let the reverence that 9/11 inspires be used to support your fellow small businesses who make up the vibrant local business community that you’re a part of? Order in lunch from a local restaurant or give out gift certificates to local stores to your employees (a great surprise at the end of a long afternoon of trash collecting!).
Host a blood drive
There’s always a need for blood, but as with all things, fitting it into a busy schedule or going through all the hassle of identifying where you need to go and when to actually donate can be all it takes to prevent people from following through. So why not bring the donation center to your employees? Hosting a blood drive at your business on 9/11 is a great way to not only make it easy for your employees to help out, but to get involved in your neighborhood by inviting local businesses and residents to stop by and donate as well.
Encourage employees to do a good deed for themselves (self-care counts, too!)
Times have been stressful to say the least. Encouraging employees to use the day for reflection and self-care is an excellent way to add some good to the world. We can’t care for others if we don’t take care of ourselves. If you have the ability, why not give employees the day off or add another flex day to everyone’s vacation time to truly encourage your employees to do something nice for themselves?
Donate to a charity or nonprofit of your choice
At the end of the day, nonprofits are always in need of funding. Whether you want to host a fundraiser on 9/11 or simply make a donation in the name of your company, 9/11day.org makes is easy peasy to donate to donate to nonprofits and initiatives designed to turn a sad day into a meaningful one.