Be a patriot - lend a hand


The September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance – or Patriot Day – may have come and gone, but the intent of the day can live on.

Though it is not an official federal holiday, the National Day of Service and Remembrance is intended to be a day of reflection of the nearly 3,000 lives lost 15 years ago during the largest terrorist attack on American soil. Americans are also urged to use the day as a way to spread kindness and compassion.

“On this National Day of Service and Remembrance, we must ensure that darkness is no match for the light we shine by engaging in acts of service and charity. I invite all Americans to observe this day with compassionate and selfless deeds that embody the values that define our people, and to visit to find opportunities to give back to their communities,” stated President Barack Obama in a proclamation about the day. “By devoting ourselves to each other and recognizing that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves – just as heroic patriots did on September 11 – we are paying tribute to their sacrifices.”

We could not agree with the president more. Light – or doing good – can overcome the darkness.

The terrorists thought they could tear apart America and destroy our spirit. Just as we showed 15 years ago, let’s unite and show how we can come together.

There are plenty of opportunities to serve here in Barnwell County. Whether paying for the meal of the person behind you at the drive-thru, volunteering at the animal shelter or cutting the grass of an elderly neighbor’s house, the possibilities are endless. You can also make a donation to a local charity, including the Barnwell County United Way that supports dozens of area agencies. It does not matter how small or large the act is; it just matters that you did something to serve others.

If you have a little more time, resources and manpower, several projects were left incomplete after the AmeriCorps team’s stay in Barnwell County was cut short when they were diverted to Louisiana to help with the flood recovery efforts.

Incomplete projects include:

-Farm to school installations at Barnwell Elementary and Macedonia Elementary schools

-The Hagood Avenue gym beside the Barnwell District 45 office needs to be cleaned out

-Cafeteria windows and doors need to be painted at Barnwell High School

-The Barnwell United Methodist Church needs help cleaning and prepping Crenshaw Hall for renovations

-The Barnwell County Family YMCA needs sod laid

-The Oak Street Cemetery needs debris removed

-Williston’s Pavilion needs to be painted

-Barnwell State Park’s fishing pier needs to rebuilt

While it is unfortunate the AmeriCorps team was unable to complete these projects, this is an opportune time for Barnwell County businesses, residents, families and organizations to step up and help. These projects are funded and materials will be provided, so all that is needed are a few hands and your time.

If you can help with one of these projects, please contact the individual agency.

Let’s make a difference in our community.