I caught a brief segment on the Today show last week that captured my attention. People around the country are joining together to do something special on Sept. 11 of this year in honor of the terrorist attack victims who died on that day two years ago.
The initiative, called "One Day's Pay," encourages people to do something on that day to help someone else. Although the name indicates spending one day's pay on another person, that's not necessarily required. But everyone around the U.S. should do something on that day to help another. It could be buying groceries for the person standing next to you in the checkout line. It could be donating money to a charitable cause, writing a letter to a soldier overseas or taking flowers to residents in a nursing home.
"Americans want to pay special tribute on that day, and we cannot think of a better expression than to rekindle and sustain the spirit of generosity, humanity and concern that turned strangers into neighbors and unified our entire nation during a very tragic time in our history," said David Paine, president of One Day's Pay, the New York-based nonprofit organization formed to lead the initiative. Paine said the goal of the initiative is for more than 30 million people to actively participate annually by 2010, making Sept. 11 one of the most widely observed days of service in American history.
It's much like the "pay it forward" concept. If someone does something nice for me, and I in turn do something nice for someone else, the chain reaction carries on and on until good deeds simply become part of our society.
It's an excellent idea, and I hope you will join me in registering at www.onedayspay.org, where you can pledge your willingness to support this effort. It's good progressive thinking to decide to spend Sept. 11 putting something good into the world. While memorial services have their place, and it is certainly important for us to remember the tragedy that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, it's a lot more productive for Americans to turn it around and make something positive happen as a result.
I believe that many people in this community are looking for something good they can do that doesn't take up too much time or cost them too much money. Participating in One Day's Pay is the perfect solution. And I believe it will foster the kindness and helpful attitude that we should be putting into practice every day.
For more information, visit www.onedayspay.org.
April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.