by Elizabeth Kennedy, 09/08/2009
As we remember the events of 9/11, spend your weekend giving back to the New York City community. From volunteering at a nonprofit bookstore to mentoring Harlem youth to donating your clothes during Fashion's Night Out, this week in NYC is all about service and doing something positive for your city.
Got a knack for squash and want to share your expertise with a young athlete? Head to streetsquash.org and fill out the volunteer application to be a part of the Harlem-based StreetSquash mentoring program. If selected, you can tutor and/or give squash lessons to a boy or girl, ages 9 to 18—and have the chance to make a huge impact on their life. Through this organization, you'll help them become more confident students and develop their skills as the next championship squash player. But hurry—the season starts in mid-September!
Housing Works Bookstore Café
Start a new weekend routine by volunteering at Housing Works Bookstore Café. This bookstore and concert venue gives every cent of its profits to Housing Works, Inc., an organization committed to putting a stop to homelessness and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Since 1990, Housing Works has made a positive impact on the lives of more than 20,000 homeless or low-income men and women living with HIV or AIDS. The SoHo venue is a popular spot for both locals and tourists (as are the seven Housing Works Thrift Shops), and it is run completely by volunteers. Anyone over the age of 16 can apply to help out in the bookstore or the café area; just email or call to learn about opportunities.
Fashion's Night Out Clothing Drive
Seasons are changing, and it's time once again to clean out the closet. This week, instead of tossing out those pieces you'll no longer wear, why not donate them to the Fashion's Night Out clothing drive? All of the new and gently used clothing donated September 10–12 will go to the New York City AIDS Fund, which will distribute the apparel to more than a dozen HIV and AIDS organizations throughout the five boroughs. There are tons of spots for you to drop off your clothes around the City, most of them retail participants in Fashion's Night Out. Get rid of the old while shopping for the new—and use your keen fashion sense for a good cause.
9/11 Memorial Preview Site
Learn about the progress of the museum and memorial being built atop Ground Zero at the recently opened 9/11 Memorial Preview Site. You can also participate in the creation of the memorial by sharing your 9/11 story. This is a touching reminder of the events of September 11 and a chance for New Yorkers to feel connected to the work being done in their City and remember those lost during the tragedy. The site is free to visit and open seven days a week, however on September 10 and 11 it is closed off for families of 9/11 victims and first responders.
AIA Memorial Exhibit
The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has put together a showcase of exactly what the 9/11 memorial and museum will look like called "A Space Within: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum." After visiting the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site, stop by this exhibit to get a complete picture of the future of the World Trade Center site.
The September Concert
Music is a universal language, and on September 11, the September Concert series is putting on hundreds of free concerts around the world in an effort to spread a message of global peace. The concert series began on September 11, 2002, and this year it's back and bigger than ever. More than 20 of the concerts will be put on right here in New York City, featuring jazz, chorale, classical, rock and pop music. Check out septemberconcert.org to find the concert nearest you.