Lt. Governor Brown and Staff Join Rebuilding Together for September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance
Brown Concludes ‘Week of Service’ in Montgomery County; Joins Congressman Van Hollen, Rebuilding Together and Choice Hotels International for Press Conference
ROCKVILLE, Md. (September 11, 2009) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and members of his staff joined Rebuilding Together today as part of President Obama’s “United We Serve” initiative in remembrance of the eighth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Rebuilding Together, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership, led today’s service project at Stepping Stones Shelter in Rockville. The project concluded Brown’s “Week of Service,” during which he participated in service activities across the state in the days leading up to the remembrance of the September 11 attacks.
“Eight years ago, when our nation was attacked and our safety was threatened, American citizens came together to mourn those who were killed. Today and every day, we remember the sacrifice that our nation’s heroes made on September 11 by giving back to our communities, reaching out to our neighbors and honoring those who have served and strengthened us throughout the years,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “I applaud Rebuilding Together and all the volunteers across the state for answering President Obama’s call to service. I can think of no better way to preserve the memory and legacy of those who died eight years ago than coming together to improve the lives of our neighbors.”
During a press conference at Stepping Stone Shelter, Brown discussed the importance of volunteerism and applauded the more than 100 Rebuilding Together volunteers. Press conference participants included: Lt. Governor Brown, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Rebuilding Together President and CEO Gary Officer, Choice Hotels International CEO Steve Joyce and Mayor of Gaithersburg Sidney Katz.
“The President’s decision to designate September 11 as National Remembrance and Service Day could not be a more fitting tribute, and I am honored to join Rebuilding Together and Choice Hotels at their first annual United We Serve event,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “The work that we are doing here today will not only honor the memories of those lost on September 11, but will also help many in need in our community. Rebuilding Together provides a vital service to Americans every single day, working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities.”
During the press conference, Officer and Joyce announced that the Silver Spring-based Choice Hotels International will be a major a corporate partner with Rebuilding Together.
“We are proud to participate in this summer of service initiative,” said Gary A. Officer, President & CEO, Rebuilding Together. “Our corporate partners leaped at the chance to do something in remembrance of September 11th and show our collective determination to rebuild and renew this great nation”.
Rebuilding Together, which works to assist low-income homeowners and revitalize communities, launched major home rehabilitation projects around the country today, including the renovation of Stepping Stones Shelter in Rockville. The national network includes more than 200 chapters, including eight in Maryland, and provides free rehabilitation and critical repairs for low-income Americans.
Last year, 1.2 million Marylanders spent an average of 45.9 individual hours volunteering, totaling nearly 200 million hours. By comparison, if the volunteered hours were “billable hours,” Marylanders’ combined volunteer service would amount to $3.9 billion annually. Maryland is also the first state in the nation to implement a service-learning requirement for students to graduate high school. In order to graduate, each student must complete at least 75 hours of community service.
Following the press conference, Lt. Governor Brown and his staff joined volunteers in restoration projects around the shelter, including sanding and painting picnic tables. Stepping Stones Shelter, which has been serving families in Montgomery County for over 20 years, provides food and shelter to families in transition or in need of permanent housing.
Brown began the week on Tuesday delivering breakfast to fifth-grade students at Northwood Elementary in Baltimore and joining U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki at Meade High School to encourage high school students to stay in school and volunteer in their communities. On Wednesday, Brown and his staff participated in a beautification project at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery in Prince George’s County and visited disabled veterans at Loch Raven Veterans Rehabilitation Center where he played Wii and served snacks to residents. That evening and Thursday morning, Brown and his staff participated in several service projects with Maryland’s seniors, including a stop by Our Daily Bread to serve breakfast to homeless seniors.