SALEM - Residents can serve their community and remember the 9/11 fallen on Tuesday by spending the day on a Habitat for Humanity build at 317 E. Fourth St. in Salem.
"We're trying to find new ways to engage the community and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for that," volunteer coordinator Lauren Arnold said.
Habitat for Humanity of Northern Columbiana County will host the event at its 33rd house being built for a local family. The build will provide a way for volunteers to mark the National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11.
"We thought it would be nice at the times the towers were falling that we take the opportunity to raise something up," Arnold said.
The work that day will focus on raising the walls of the structure. This is the first time Habitat has participated in the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
An opening ceremony will be held at 8 a.m., with a proclamation to be read by Mayor John Berlin and a staff member from U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson's office participating. There will also be moments of silence at keys times in the morning "to honor the fallen and recognize first responders and armed service members," according to a press release issued by Habitat.
"Paying tribute through service was inspired by the remarkable spirit of unity, compassion and service that arose in America immediately following the attacks," the release said.
People of all skill levels can volunteer for two separate shifts, from 8 a.m. to noon and from 12:30 to 4 p.m., with lunch provided in between. Arnold said three different Salem businesses are donating lunch, including Alfredo's Pizza, East of Chicago Pizza and Pizza Joe's. Volunteers must be over the age of 16. Additional parking will be available at the First Presbyterian Church parking lot, not far from the site. Volunteers can bring a hammer, but tools will be provided.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact the Habitat office at 330-337-1003 or firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for the build. The non-profit Christian agency uses volunteers to help build homes for families in need, requiring the families to provide sweat equity by helping to build their own home. The homes are purchased by the families for zero percent interest on the mortgage.
Arnold said Habitat has the resources now to have more theme builds like this one. Earlier this summer, a group of retirees who travel the country in their RVs helped build another Habitat home. The dedication for that home at 644 E. Fourth St. is scheduled for Sept. 23.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at email@example.com