AURORA, Colo. - As part of their 7/20 Day of Remembrance event, the City of Aurora is offering several community service events after the ceremony. The city hopes the volunteering will help people to heal.
"We're providing the community and individuals a way to heal, a way to connect with one another, and to make a difference in the community," says Susan Everett, Director of Aurora Volunteer Center.
The city got the idea to offer community service projects from New York City's response after 9-11. "One of the things they did immediately after, on the first anniversary, was find a way for the community to heal and that was through volunteer service projects," explains Everett.
There will be nearly a dozen projects for residents to take part in scattered across the community. Each project will start after the morning ceremony concludes, and can last a few hours. The projects range from sorting and packing food at the Food Bank of the Rockies, to gardening at the Aurora Municipal Center Xeriscape Garden, to painting a wall at the Colfax Community Network.
"I don't know when the last time out hallway was painted, but it's pretty drab and pretty sad," says Jennifer Herrera, Executive Director at Colfax Community Network.
CCN provides a safe place for children to go after school or in the summer, with the goal of keeping them supervised and off the streets. Volunteers at CCN on Saturday will paint a wall in the center and re-frame pictures of children the center has helped throughout the years.
"We've taken photos of our kids over the years and we want to put those photos on the walls. Our happy kids tell the world we are having an impact on the lives of children," explains Herrera.
For the City of Aurora, offering volunteer opportunities is a way for it to help the community heal, together.
"It's a balance between finding a way for individuals in the community to heal and community building through life-affirming service projects," says Everett.