August 25, 2017

We all want to give back for important days of service like 9/11 and MLK Day, but few of us actually make it out day-of. Now is the perfect time to mark your calendar for the next big day of service, so when someone asks, what are you doing to honor 9/11? you can say: I’m going to serve.

The Mission Continues empowers veterans to make a difference, whether that’s building play spaces for youth, clearing trails in our national parks, or constructing houses for the homeless.

Veterans and their friends are out volunteering in their communities year-round through our Service Platoon Program, where a group of volunteers tackle a pressing issue in their city.

The next National Day of Service is in honor of 9/11, and it is a day we hold especially dear. Over that weekend, the service platoons are inviting everyone, veterans and non-veterans, to join them in a single day of giving back.

Here’s a sample of what their missions are, and how you can participate. As always, family, friends, and children are welcome!



Harlem Park West is a community in West Baltimore that has been suffered from a decline in the last half century. Blight, abandoned properties, and the accompanying safety and health concerns are the primary issues this community faces. There is, however, a thriving and motivated neighborhood association in the community, along with several strong nonprofits and a school that serves as the central gathering point for both planning and recreation.  

By partnering with all of those entities, the Baltimore 1st Service Platoon is helping the school and the neighborhood association complete visible neighborhood transformations, and to increase community and parental engagement. We’re looking for all hands on deck for this one for some exciting projects at Roots & Branches School.

Many hands make light work (and more magic!) as we plan to paint a mural on the library wall, give the cafeteria a face lift, install classroom flags, re-purpose some underutilized spaces, and re-mulch the school playground!

There will be projects and opportunities for the whole family, so we’re encouraging volunteers to bring the kids and get ready to make a big difference for a very special neighborhood school!



Areas like Hazelwood, Homewood, Millvale, and Wilkinsburg, which are only blocks from downtown Pittsburgh, have seen a continuation of a vicious cycle of blight, poverty and under-investment. Although the citizens of these neighborhoods face challenges such as poverty and crime, there is a contagious sense of community spirit, pride and love!

The goal of the platoons is to eliminate urban blight and help build a positive sense of community by 2020. We are doing this by cleaning streets and removing debris, refurbishing existing lots, and mobilizing the community block by block to build “civic efficacy.”

We welcome you to join us for a day of painting, building and beautifying.


San Antonio

The San Antonio platoons are focused on outdoor recreation, education, and mentorship for youth. In areas where most students don’t go to college, charter schools are an opportunity for them to get there. The platoons work with these schools to mentor students, beautify school indoor space, and create outdoor play space to promote healthy, active lifestyles.

The platoons work with these schools to mentor students, beautify school indoor space, and create outdoor play space to promote healthy, active lifestyles.

Come out with us! We will be helping out at a charter school to build a vegetable garden and paint a mural in their gym.


St. Louis

The St. Louis platoons focus on youth mentorship and education year-round. Together we work to make a better St. Louis by inspiring and supporting people, especially our youth, building safe places/spaces for learning and education.

We believe that empowerment can be one of the most effective strategies for providing young people with opportunities to become successful. Our youth need experiences that allow them to be powerful in a positive way — encouraging them to give back through participation in service projects in their own communities is a great start.

Join us as we paint hallways and murals at the Normandy Kindergarten Center, as well as building benches for the playground area.



Portland 1st Platoon is reporting for duty at Richmond Place. Richmond Place, Impact NW’s transitional housing facility, consists of 20 drug-and-alcohol-free units to house extremely low-income Multnomah County families—many of whom have a history of substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence.

They provide shelter for up to 2 ½ years, working with families to create individual Action Plans, which typically include steps like earning a GED, completing a job-training program, enrolling in parenting classes, attending a financial literacy workshop, and enrolling their children in neighborhood schools and afterschool programs.

We will be tackling some impactful projects and we’d love to have you join us. We will be removing old carpet and flooring to prepare a unit for a new floor, painting railings, walls, and fencing, and demolishing and replacing a planter.


Report for duty in your community with The Mission Continues. Serve with a Service Platoon at an upcoming service event near you or apply for a fellowship. You can learn more about our programs on our website and stay updated on the latest news and announcements on Facebook and Twitter.