Saturday, September 11, 2021 will mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Whether you’re looking to volunteer your time or make a donation, these are a few powerful ways to pay tribute to the lives lost and make a positive, lasting difference in your community.

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Brianna Lee/Stocksy United

The 9/11 Heroes Run is hosted by the Travis Manion Foundation to honor the sacrifices of first responders and military service members. These events are held in cities throughout the country, so check the website to find one near you or register as a virtual participant. You can also opt to donate directly to the cause.

Many Red Cross divisions are hosting blood drives to commemorate this anniversary. One drive in Tennessee aims to collect 1 pint of blood for each of the 2,977 lives lost on September 11, 2001. And the impact of these contributions is huge. Each donation can save up to 3 lives.

Check the Red Cross website to find a blood drive near you. Here are a few tips to prep for your appointment.

  • Eat plenty of food containing iron (that’s a mineral that helps your body produce blood).
  • Drink an extra glass of water before you arrive.
  • Make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements to donate.

343 New York City firefighters died saving others in the World Trade Center. Every year, people partner with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to climb 110 flights of stairs to honor their bravery and sacrifice. These events also raise awareness of the deaths and illness that first responders have experienced related to 9/11.

Many of these stair climbs are restricted to fire fighters and first responders, but some are open to the public, too. Check out the schedule online to find an event near you. If you’re not able to attend, you can donate to your local chapter.

September 11th is a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Unsure where to help? Check out your city’s government website for a list of local charities currently accepting volunteers.

Take a moment to remember the lives of those lost 20 years ago at any or all of these times:

  • 8:46 a.m.
  • 9:03 a.m.
  • 9:37 a.m.
  • 9:59 a.m.
  • 10:03 a.m.
  • 10:28 a.m.

To learn more about the events of 9/11 or to get involved, visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at

Honoring this anniversary will likely bring up heavy, hard emotions. This is perfectly normal — you’re not alone. Check out our list of 80 affordable mental health resources (many are free) to find support if you need it.