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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

(Editor’s note: This is normally not a “newsy” site, but we’re all about supporting acts of service here at Earnest Parenting.)

Last week, American Express released the I Will Volunteer Facebook application to support the upcoming 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, a federally-recognized initiative led by MyGoodDeed and HandsOn Network. Using I Will Volunteer, people can search the 9/11 Day database and sign up for volunteer opportunities by location, then share their commitment with their friends on Facebook to encourage further participation.

To date, more than 60 organizations across the country have committed to hosting service projects on 9/11. “We know people are looking for opportunities to pay tribute through service as we mark this significant anniversary, but they may not know how and where to plug in,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “Our goal in launching this new app with HandsOn Network is to tap in to the power of social media and give potential volunteers a direct link to service opportunities, along with the ability to sign up for and share the causes that are most meaningful to them.”

To use the I WILL VOLUNTEER app, volunteers simply visit facebook.com/americanexpress or facebook.com/911day. Volunteers can search the 9/11 Day database, powered by HandsOn Network, for volunteer opportunities by project location or type. When they find one they like, they can sign up and invite their friends on Facebook to join them in volunteering.

Furthering its commitment to using social media for social good, this month Amex launched its first-ever global social media program on Facebook, Friends of Japan, which gives users from Amex’s 16 international Facebook pages a customized experience as they post Messages of Hope for earthquake victims. For every Message of Hope posted on Facebook.com/americanexpressjapan, American Express will donate $1 to Japan Platform.

The campaign encourages people from around the world to share messages of hope, in 10 different languages, through the Amex Facebook page and activate their own social networks in support of this cause. American Express will donate $1 for every message of hope posted to Japan Platform, an intermediary non-governmental organization that supports various relief agencies active in the affected areas. Anyone on Facebook can send a message of hope for free, so please spread the word!

(Editor’s note: it’s great to see companies giving of their resources to make the world better.)