9/11: "National Day of Service" in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

9/11: "National Day of Service" in Reno

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Years ago, Reno veteran Larry Kobbe decided the best way to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 was to volunteer in their honor. As he told us, "I see a lot of the sacrifices people made out there, and I'd like to make a little of my own, a very small part."

It didn't look small to us. Larry spent the entire day lugging around cartons of food at the Reno Salvation Army's "food box room" on Sutro Street. With the shirt he's been wearing on this day for the last 10 years which reads "Remember Our Fallen, September 11, 2001", Larry gave his time where it's really needed. He modestly told us, "I'm here just to help out. Loretta does all the thinking. I do a lot of the muscle work."

Loretta Blankenship is putting in a full day's work for no pay too. She lost a friend on 9/11. She told us, "Because he gave up a lot in New York, and you know this is my special way of remembering him."

Larry and Loretta both volunteer many days at the Salvation Army. For those who depend on the food they were organizing, it's a major contribution. Major Michael Zielinski looked at the job they were doing and told us, "To put together the material that we need to help the people who come to our door, we can't do without them. No, not at all."

But from our phone calls to other charities today, we found a very light turnout for this National Day of Service. Part of the reason may be that it falls mid-week this time, when it's difficult for people to get out of work and school. Major Zielinski says besides the corporate drives and employee service days, "Most businesses now are trying to keep their people involved in the business during the week."

But people do have time to give blood. At Reno's United Blood Services on Terminal Way, the place was packed for their "Heroes Remembered" day. 9/11 has become the largest donation day of the year for that particular location. Donor Recruitment Director Steven Thomas told us, "We're expecting twice as many donations today as normal."

Reclining in a donation chair as a bag hanging nearby was filling with her blood, Terri Powning told us she drove all the way from Verdi to donate...one of many who had 9-11 in their minds and hearts. As she put it, "Just remembering that day and how it affected everybody, being such a sad occasion, you know you do what you can."

To everyone we spoke with on this "National Day of Service," 9/11 will always be a somber day. But as UBS's Thomas told us, "I also think that everyone needs to remember the heroes of 9/11 as well." And that what the volunteers we met were thinking of this day.

-written by John Potter

You can easily find a charity to donate your time to on the "Nevada Volunteers" website. Just click here: http://www.nevadavolunteers.org/


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