Samina Sundas, founder of American Muslim Voice, started the Multifaith Peace Picnic on the first anniversary of 9/11 after experiencing a confrontation with a shopper who blamed her for the terrorist event because she is a Muslim.
"Some days, it seems like we are making progress, then all of a sudden something happens and the Muslim community feels like it could be a backlash again," she said, noting the recent return to power by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Peace Picnic honors all who were sacrificed during the 2001 attacks and the 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows — families whose loved ones died in the attack but who have dedicated themselves to creating a more peaceful world.
"We wanted to honor the victims, families and first responders that have lost loved ones," she said.
This year, the event is limited to 150 people and participants are encouraged to preregister. Food will be boxed for people who don't want to eat on site due to COVID-19 concerns. Participants are required to wear a mask at all times and to socially distance. It takes place from 5:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at King Plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave. Palo Alto. Register at tinyurl.com/e3swbyvr.
The YCS Day of Service event brings together volunteers to perform community-benefiting activities at multiple service sites in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. It will kick off the weeklong celebration of Palo Alto Together Again, a city-wide celebration of the city's attempted return to normalcy after the months-long restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year's theme is Reconnect, Remember and Renew and its lead sponsor is Youth Community Service.
"The struggles of this past year have shown us the importance of community connections and supporting one another," the nonprofit organization said on its website. The projects include food drives, card making, mural painting, fence painting, gardening and clean-ups. The projects are open to people of all ages from every community. Masks are required and participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottles. For details and to register, visit youthcommunityservice.org/national-day-of-service/ or call 650-858-8019.
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