WASHINGTON - As the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks nears, families and friends of those who died in the attacks are hoping to transform the date into a national day of volunteer service and charity.
At a news conference yesterday, One Day's Pay, the group spearheading the effort, said its purpose was simple: to encourage individuals and organizations to set aside time on Sept. 11 to help others. "Sept. 11 is a date that has been seared in our memories," said Alice Hoglan, a One Day's Pay board member whose son, Mark Bingham, died on hijacked United Flight 93. She said a day of volunteerism would be "a vehicle to convert that negative, awful energy that was created that day into something beautiful, optimistic and uplifting."
Business leaders and nonprofit groups were instrumental in envisioning the day of charity. One Day's Pay, based in New York, was formed last year in an effort to preserve and strengthen the national outpouring of goodwill in the aftermath of the attacks.
The organization, which also has offices in Irvine, Calif., is asking participants to register their good-faith pledges to volunteer on the group's Web site, www.onedayspay.org. More than 100 groups so far have agreed to contribute. One Day's Pay aims to have 30 million people participating in the effort each year by 2010.
David Paine, the group's president, said he and others were inspired to start the organization by "the lingering and urgent need to ... (find) an appropriate way to honor those who gave so much."
When the organization tested its Web site last year, 12,000 individuals and companies pledged service and many reported back with their experiences, Paine said.
The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.