BY JESSICA JENKINS
Chris Stedman, Interfaith and Community Service Fellow for the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, shares this invitation to community service on September 11. Members of the interfaith community at Harvard will package 9,100 meals to share with food-insecure children in Boston. See below for details about how you can support by volunteering and/or donating.
"September 11th, 2001 will live on forever in our nation's memory. We suffered an incomprehensible loss at the hands of extremists who believed that religious diversity must end in violence. On the 10th anniversary of this devastating day, HCH and the Harvard and local community will engage in a series of events to honor and remember those we lost on that day and all who were affected.
"But we believe that remembrance, while crucial, is not enough. We must also look to the future. Whether it is frequent discrimination against the American Muslim community, or thousands of recent threatening anti-atheist comments on the Fox News Facebook page, the voices of religious and political division are loud and clear. But what about the voices of inclusion?
"We must model the change we want to see in our nation and our world. President Obama sees the diversity of our "nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and nonbelievers" as "a strength, not a weakness." The terrorists of 9/11 were guided by a narrative of conflict between incompatible cultures; by acting together on our shared values, we can show that our society actually thrives when people of diverse backgrounds work together.
What We're Doing
"In conjunction with a diverse group of Harvard faculty, staff, and student groups, as well as local congregations and organizations, HCH is organizing an interfaith community service event to package 9,110 nutritious meals to be distributed to food-insecure children in the Boston area. The event will take place at 5:00 PM on Harvard's campus (exact location TBA).
How Can You Get Involved?
"This event will be open to the public, and we encourage RSVPs here. To meet our goal of packaging 9,110 meals, we need your help. Please donate here. The meals cost 25 cents each and will go directly to those in need (660,000 people in Massachusetts alone are food-insecure). Any extra funds raised will go toward our November interfaith community service hunger event."
(Supported by Kids Care, Harvard Chaplains, Foundation Beyond Belief, Interfaith Youth Core, and the Harvard College Interfaith Council.)
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