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Giving DuPage rallies volunteers for 9/11 work
By Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/9/2009 5:28 PM | Updated: 9/9/2009 5:35 PM

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When President Obama signed the Serve America Act in April that designated Sept. 11 a national day of service and remembrance, DuPage County was ready.

Since the second anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2001, Giving DuPage has organized a day of volunteerism to mark the tragedy. During the past seven years, thousands of volunteers have turned out to lend a hand on projects that benefit local nonprofit agencies.

"There was a spirit of volunteerism that came out of Sept. 11," said Kathy Blair, Giving DuPage's executive director.

The group serves as the county's clearinghouse for charity and volunteerism. The agency's Web site at givingdupage.org details scores of volunteering and charitable opportunities around the county.

"The best resource is our Web site," Blair said. "We have 200 agencies listed and a variety of opportunities."

Blair said she anticipates more than 1,100 people will be participating in about 50 special projects Friday and Saturday. Volunteers are needed for behind-the-scenes prep work at the DuPage Children's Museum, garden cleanup at Almost Home Kids, preparation for a West Suburban Humane Society event, support at Saturday's DuPage PADS Walk/Run and collecting seeds and cleaning beds at the Blackwell Native Plant Nursery.

In addition to the weekend projects, Giving DuPage is running a volunteer recruitment fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Cantigny in Wheaton. Blair said the fair allows residents unable to participate this weekend to find a project or agency they can support in other ways or at another time. More than 30 different nonprofit groups will be represented at the fair, she said.

Also starting Friday, Giving DuPage will begin distributing its annual "Giving Guide." The guide features holiday and ongoing volunteer and charitable opportunities for 92 different agencies around the county. The guide lists the agencies' contact information and teen-friendly opportunities as well.

Weekend volunteer opportunities.

Naperville: Behind-the-scenes prep work at the DuPage Children's Museum

Naperville: Garden cleanup at Almost Home Kids

Downers Grove: Help prepare for West Suburban Humane Society event

Wheaton: Provide support for DuPage PADS Walk/Run

Warrenville: Collect seeds and clean beds at Blackwell Native Plant Nursery

Source: Giving DuPage