Charity Turns 9/11 Anniversary Into Day of Service, Not Sadness

September 11, 2018

By Conor White

For most, September 11 is a day of reflection and remembrance to honor those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks 17 years ago.

Jay Winuk is one such observer; he lost his brother Glen, a 20-year volunteer firefighter, after he rushed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan to help those inside.

One year after the attacks, Winuk co-founded 9/11 Day, now federally-recognized, to remember his brother and the nearly 3,000 others whose lives abruptly ended in 2001.

"Glen and so many others really sacrificed a lot," Winuk said Tuesday in an interview on Cheddar. "But if we can make the world a little bit better for those in need each 9/11, that'd be a pretty good way to remember the day."

9/11 Day encourages people to volunteer, support charities, and perform simple good deeds. After starting out as a grassroots movement, Tuesday's event will see nearly 30 million people participate across the country.

"We hope this becomes ubiquitous," Winuk said. "[September 11th is] not a holiday, it's an observance."

In New York alone, 850,000 meals will be assembled for hungry residents. Meals will also be packed for the hungry in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

9/11 Day and the non-profit behind it, MyGoodDeed, also provides teachers and students with learning materials about September 11th to teach them about the good carried out by responders.

"All of us who lived through 9/11, at some point, we're not going to be here, so we wanted to establish an observance where people have the opportunity to learn the other side of 9/11," Winuk said.

"If they learn only about the attacks and not how good people of the world responded, then we've lost an opportunity."

For more information, visit 911Day.org.

For full interview click here.