Volunteers make 9/11 a day of service

Posted: 6:00 PM EDT Sep 11, 2013   Updated: 7:12 PM EDT Sep 11, 2013

Thousands volunteered to help clean-up after September 11th. Many were from our area. To honor them, Lehigh Carbon Community College observed the National Day of Service Wednesday with a volunteer fair.

On that awful day 12 years ago, when so many gave so much, most LCCC students were barely in elementary school. But on the anniversary, they got a lesson in volunteering.

"Today LCCC is hosting a volunteer fair for our students," said LCCC career center director Tina Moyer. "We choose to do in on September 11th because it has been declared as the National Day of Service."

When the big tragedies happen -- the 9-11s and the Hurricane Sandys -- volunteers line up around the block.

"To be a volunteer, it takes a special person and a special heart," said Wendy Balik with Country Meadows Retirement Communities.

But groups here at home -- the Zoo, the parks, the Red Cross -- need help every day.

"Not only to give back to your community and make you feel part of your community, but also teach leadership skills," said Karen Elchaar with Friends of the Allentown Parks.

Volunteering can also give students a leg-up in a tough job market.

"If you don't have that much job experience, you can put it down as a reference," said LCCC sophomore Dominique Jefferson.

"We have already placed 19 people in part-time, full-time, and some temporary positions just because of their work volunteering at the Gress Mountain Ranch," said Kathryn Gress, owner of Gress Mountain Ranch.

It's a small way to give back to those who gave so much.

"Our heroes," said Gress. "They're our inspiration."

This is the third straight year for LCCC's volunteer fair.