Two friends are working to transform the tragedy of 9/11 into a day celebrating good deeds and serving others.
David Paine and Jay Winuk have personal experience with the tragedy of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Winuk lost his brother, Glenn, in the attack.
Glenn Winuk worked as an attorney in lower Manhattan. When the terrorist attacks occurred, Glenn, who also served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, ran into the burning World Trade Center to help save lives. In doing so, he lost his own life.
To honor his brother’s service and the service of hundreds of others who sacrificed their lives, David and Jay founded a nonprofit called MyGoodDeed. They also worked to have 9/11 be a nationally-recognized day of service.
"We wanted something positive to come from the loss of so many innocent people in such a terrible way," David explains. "We didn't want the terrorists to have the last word in how 9/11 would be remembered. We've worked to redefine the day, focusing instead on all the goodness that people everywhere showed in response to the attacks, along with the remarkable sense of togetherness that seemed to dissolve our differences for a while. We felt this was the best way to honor the victims, their families, and the heroes of 9/11, keeping that spirit of unity, empathy and service alive, and passing it on to future generations."
In 2009, part of David’s and Jay’s goals were realized when the U.S. Congress and President Obama passed legislation formally designating September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
David and Jay are thankful that so many have supported their mission, but they know they still have more work to do.
"Two-thirds of the nation are still not aware that 9/11 is a day of charitable engagement," said David.
"Imagine when everyone knows," Jay added. "We have a lot of good work ahead of us."
Publication date: September 8, 2016