Largest Volunteer Rebuilding Effort in Arkansas History Starts this Week in Mena

Zoie Clift
Starting on Thursday, Mena
will be home base for what is being planned as the largest volunteer rebuilding
event in Arkansas’s history.

On Sept. 2-5,
volunteers from the New York Says Thank You Foundation will be conducting a
commemorative 9/11 anniversary project in Mena.

Started in 2003 at the
suggestion of a 5-year-old boy, the foundation has grown into one of the nation’s
leading organizations to transform the anniversary into a positive platform for
national volunteer service. Each year, the foundation sends hundreds of
volunteers from New York along with disaster survivors from around the country
to help rebuild communities around the U.S recovering from disaster.

The project will help
heal the damage from the April 9, 2009 tornado in Mena that killed three
people, destroyed more than 100 homes and damaged another 600.

For the project, volunteers
will be building three homes and a county 4-H Community Center. Organizers hope
to register at least 1,500 volunteers to get these projects completed between
the scheduled Thursday and Sunday. Volunteers can register by visiting


NYSTY Foundation
founder, Jeff Parness, calls the effort 
Extreme Home Makeover on steroids.”

The mission of  the foundation is to send volunteers
from NYC each year on the 9/11 anniversary to help rebuild communities around
the country affected by natural or manmade disasters. The core group has
expanded over the years to include people from each of the benefactor
communities. At the core of the rebuilding effort will be New York firefighters
who survived the World Trade Center attacks and who will be volunteering here
as their way to “pay it forward.” 

In addition to the
building projects, the 9/11 flag that once flew over the World Trade Center
will be on display in Mena during this time. This 20-by-30-foot American flag
was still flying, tattered and torn, over Ground Zero at the World Trade Center
on the day after 9/11.

If you would like to
learn more about the organization, check out:



Posted in Travel Arkansas
2 comments on “Largest Volunteer Rebuilding Effort in Arkansas History Starts this Week in Mena
  1. Sheri Jones says:

    I was also told this flag would be on display at little rock on Wednesday of this week.

  2. Zoie Clift says:

    Thanks for the heads up Sheri!

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