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First ever 9-11 day of service and remembrance to be held Sunday


Volunteer Oxford, a new volunteer center, is working to turn Sept. 11, a day that most associate with terrorism and fear, into a day symbolizing heroism and strength.

This Sunday marks the 10-year anniversary of the four coordinated terrorist attacks against sites in New York and Washington, D.C. 

As a method of giving back and showing support to the nation and community, Volunteer Oxford, along with the University of Mississippi’s Associated Student Body and the Office of the Dean of Students/Volunteer Services, is coordinating the first ever 9-11 Day of Service and Remembrance. 

The 9-11 Day of Service and Remembrance will team up nonprofit organizations throughout the Oxford and Lafayette area that address hunger, giving volunteers the opportunity to serve The Oxford Food Pantry, More Than a Meal, Love Packs and the Oxford Community Garden.

Both community members and university students are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items to appropriate bins, on and off campus, and give blood through Mississippi Blood Services, Sept. 9 and Sept. 12.

“The first thing we did after the 9-11 attacks was assemble a blood drive, and the response from the university community was overwhelming,” said Valeria Beasley-Ross, assistant dean of students with Multicultural Affairs and Volunteer Services. “We had more people lined up to donate blood than we could actually accommodate for that day.”

The service will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Oxford Activity Center, where volunteers will work on various services projects that afternoon with a 5 p.m. community supper at Pat Lamar Park.

“We want to embrace that sense of spirit that is so prevalent here in the community,” Kelly Shannon, Volunteer Oxford director, said. “The evening will be a really special time too — filled with food, remembrance and a ceremony recognizing all our local heroes among us.”

According to Shannon, the university has played a crucial role in the first ever 9-11 Day of Service and Remembrance. Shannon added that Associated Student Body president’s cabinet member Troy Jackson has offered endless support and commitment to the event.

“When Chancellor Jones came here, the big thing he stressed was service in the university,” Jackson said. “When you have a group of 15,000 people, and you can get just half of them to do one thing then it’s pretty big, and this is the perfect opportunity for volunteerism — for our community and for our school.”

“The Lafayette, Oxford, University (LOU) community is one that continues to demonstrate a high level of commitment to volunteerism and giving,” Ross said. 

“Recognizing the 10-year anniversary of 9-11 with volunteerism and giving is both a good fit and a natural fit for the LOU residents.” 

There are currently over 100 volunteers planning to participate, and the numbers are still rising. 

“Our goal is 150 volunteers,” Shannon said. “We are doing great, but we are still hoping for a lot more people to sign up and come the day of the event.”

Donation spots can be found throughout department buildings and the Student Union, and they will be open between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 9. 

Big Star and Kroger will also have donation bins for non-perishable food items throughout the weekend and all day Sunday. 

For more information for students and community members who wish to get involved, contact Troy Jackson at troyjackson1@gmail.com or Kelly Shannon at 662-236-6662.