This weekend our family joined neighbors and participated in the annual 9/11 National Day of Service. The founders of 9/11 service day did so with hope to transform the anniversary of this tragic day into a day of doing good for others. We had some neighborhood block captains who organized some meaningful service for neighbors who were in need.

Our family signed up with a few others to strip orange trees for a widow who lives just a few houses down from us. Another group worked to get all the Christmas lights down from the attic of the infamous “Christmas House” who puts on the most amazing light display every year. Some went to the assisted living home in our neighborhood and entertained them with their musical talents. Some made a run to the dump. And some baked goods for first responders.

After we were done with our service, we delivered some of the treat plates neighbors created to our first responders and veterans. We also put a sign in their yard expressing our appreciation. And I loved driving the neighborhood after and seeing so many signs of appreciation in the yards. (I got emotional at one of the houses. There was a group of neighbors standing on the porch, unsure as to what we were going to say or do when he opened the door. And without any coordination, the door opened and we started clapping and cheering for him – a firefighter. He was slightly embarrassed but very gracious in accepting our applause and treats. And it just filled me with joy and immense gratitude for all those that serve. Thank you!)

We had to drag teenagers out of bed (who am I kidding, it was far too early for me as well!) and there were arguments over who would get to hold the orange pickers. And someone hit someone else with the sign and scratched their face. But we showed up and we worked side-by-side with our neighbors and that was rewarding.

Service isn’t typically convenient…but service always wins.