In observance of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, 9/11 Day, we pause to remember the lives of those lost and injured as a result of terrorism on 9/11 and worldwide. We honor the many who have risen in service to help victims in need and defend our freedoms. And we pay tribute each 9/11 through our personal acts and expressions of kindness, unity and good deeds.
MyGoodDeed is the respected 501c3 nonprofit that founded, and today supports the federally recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, also known as 9/11 Day. The long-term mission of MyGoodDeed is to transform 9/11 into a day of service, unity, and peace as an enduring and positive tribute to those lost and injured on 9/11, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks, including first responders, recovery workers, volunteers and members of our military.
9/11 Day exists today in great measure because two friends, David Paine and Jay Winuk, who lost his brother Glenn Winuk in the 9/11 attacks, decided to dedicate their lives over the past decade and a half to transforming 9/11 from a day of evil into a day of good. Jay’s brother Glenn was an attorney who worked in lower Manhattan as a partner at the law firm Holland and Knight. For almost 20 years Glenn served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in their hometown of Jericho, Long Island. “Glenn did what he was trained to do,” Jay says. “He had the skills and courage to run into the burning World Trade Center, toward danger, to save lives. Glenn always put others ahead of himself, and he sacrificed his life the way he lived it, helping others in need.”
David and Jay embarked on their improbable journey in 2002, setting up a nonprofit now called MyGoodDeed, and enlisting the help of many leaders within the 9/11 and national service communities. With broad support from the 9/11 community, they had two goals: to establish September 11 as an annually-recognized national day of service under federal law, and build nationwide participation in what they called “9/11 Day.”
It took seven years to accomplish the first goal. But finally, in 2009 the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama joined together to pass bi-partisan national service legislation that formally designated September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is the only other day of service officially established under federal law. ”
Now, nine years later, 9/11 Day is the nation’s largest annual day of charitable engagement, with nearly 30 million Americans taking time out each September 11 to volunteer, support charities, and perform simple good deeds in tribute to those lost and injured and others who rose in service in the aftermath of the attacks.
“Ultimately we wanted something positive to come from the loss of so many innocent people in such a terrible way,” says David. “We didn’t want the terrorists to forever define how 9/11 would be remembered. We wanted to focus instead on how our nation came together, the spirit of unity and compassion shared by so many.”
Adds Jay: “As a 9/11 family member, I wanted to find a very special and significant way to honor my late brother, along with the many others who died with him.”
Learn more about this story and how they are helping survivors, first responders and their families here: https://www.911day.org/
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