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Friends Turn 9/11 Tragedy From Loss Into Something Good Nationally

Friends David Paine and Jay Winuk have dedicated part of their lives over the past 14 years in changing the negativity surrounding the 9/11 tragedy from a day of evil to one of good.  Jay Winuk is no stranger to the pain of 9/11 as he lost his brother, Glenn Winuk to the attack.

Starting Something New

David Paine says that they decided to turn around the negativity surrounding the event out of a desire to have something positive come out of the loss of innocent lives.  They didn’t want terrorists to have the last say on how the day was remembered.  So, they have been working to refine the day by focusing on the outpouring of goodness that ensued in response to the attacks along with the solidarity that resulted by people pulling together.

The men felt that this was the best way to honor the victims, their families, and the heroes of 9/11.

“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,” says David.

Jay’s brother, Glenn, was an attorney who worked in lower Manhattan as a partner in a law firm.  Glenn served for almost 20 years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in 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. I wanted to find a very special and significant way to honor my late brother, along with the many others who died with him, were injured or survived, or who rose in service in response to the attacks. Making 9/11 into a day of goodness is something Glenn would have liked.”

The Result

In 2002, David and Jay decided to set up a nonprofit called MyGoodDeed, and began enlisting the help of leaders within  9/11 and national service communities.

They wanted to establish September 11 as an annually recognized national day of service under federal law.  They also wanted to build nationwide participation in what is called, “9/11 Day”.  They have remarkably succeeded in their efforts despite years of limited funding, and handling their jobs while growing out 9/11 day.

It is their desire that this day is celebrated by doing good deeds and serving others.

in 2009, their dream was realized when U.S. Congress and President Obama passed legislation formally designating September 11 as National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Elated with the progress, both friends know that a lot of work is still ahead.

“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.”

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About Michelle C. Danko

Michelle Danko is the Editor-In-Chief for Faith Filled Family Magazine.

Satan is destroying families at an alarming rate. More and more marriages are ending in divorce and children are reaping the negative consequences of this trend. Michelle believes that our first ministry is to our family, and that everything else flows from that.

Michelle has a passion for seeing families live victoriously in Christ, and she doesn’t just write about a life with God, but she lives it as well.

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