CVNL partners with the City of Vallejo and the Mare Island Heritage Perserve for 9/11 Day of Service
This year Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) coordinated a 9/11 Day of Service at the Mare Island Naval Cemetery in Solano County, which has fallen into disrepair over the years. 9/11 Day is the largest annual Day of Service in the United States with more than 40 million Americans volunteering anually. While many coincide with national holidays, a Day of Service is any set time when volunteers are encouraged to participate with nonprofit agencies and service opportunities, events, or activities.
From 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 55 volunteers – some coming as far as Dixon – raked, pruned and otherwise provided some TLC to the historic Mare Island Cemetery. Despite ongoing efforts by volunteers from the Mare Island Heritage Preserve to maintain the site, upkeep fell through the cracks after the Naval Shipyard closed in 1996, and the island came officially under the City of Vallejo’s auspices. The City of Vallejo provided paint, rakes, gloves, garbage bags, and some of their staff the morning of the event.
The event garnered wide support from government and public officials. “We haven’t seen support like this in many years,” said Volunteer Solano Coordinator Tina Chechourka. Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan attended the event and conducted a ceremony at the end of the day, where the flag was lowered at half mast. Supervisor Spering was on site and worked 4 hours. Helping with clean-up was one of his aides, Sabine Goerke-Shrode. Supervisor Hanigan stopped in and thanked the group, as did a representative from Congressman Mike Thompson’s office. The City of Vallejo Public Works Director, Assistant Director, and several Department Heads came at the end of the day to walk around. The Vallejo Fire Department sent out one of their finest to assist with painting and joined in the flag ceremony.
In addition to local volunteers and public officials, corporations stepped up to help support clean-up efforts. “Phillips 66 sent a team of volunteers to help. They were incredible,” said Chechourka. “The Coleman Consulting group was also represented and sent 2 volunteers.”
At the end of the day a truck load of black acacia was taken to the Oakland Zoo for the elephants and giraffes. There are plans to create an ongoing Mare Island Cemetery maintenance crew from among Monday’s volunteers, Chechourka said.
“It should show the government that this place matters to us.”
CVNL has a long history of engaging nonprofit agencies, government entities, and businesses in service projects, and strives to engage in roughly 5-6 collaborative projects a year. Drawing on its vast network of agency partnerships and planning expertise, CVNL designs ongoing volunteer programs or one-time events specifically tailored to meet the needs and interests of the communities it serves. With support from the County of Solano, City of Vallejo, Mare Island Naval Cemetery and Restoration Committee, and community members, the Mare Island Naval Cemetery restoration project was an exceptional kick-off to what we hope to be a growing partnership between CVNL and local public officials in Solano County.
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who showed up to honor those lost on 9/11 and pay tribute to those who served and protected our country!