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The Story of 9/11 Day

9/11 Day was created by two friends, David Paine and Jay Winuk, who were determined to see that something positive arose from the horrible 9/11 tragedy. Jay lost his younger brother Glenn Winuk, an EMT and volunteer firefighter, in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Inspired by the way the nation came together in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, David and Jay decided they'd work to transform 9/11 into a day of service, and encourage Americans on the anniversary to perform good deeds in the spirit of unity and peace.

They didn't want the terrorists to have the last word.

As a result of their efforts, in 2009, September 11 was formally designated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law. 

Today 9/11 Day is the largest annual day of service in the nation, and an inspiration for many people to continue to be helpful  and kind throughout the year.

Join us. 


David Paine is the president and co-founder of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, (“9/11 Day”).

David created 9/11 Day in 2002 in collaboration with his close friend Jay Winuk. Jay had lost his brother Glenn J. Winuk, an attorney and volunteer firefighter/EMT who was killed in the line of duty during the rescue effort at the World Trade Center.

"We didn’t want the terrorists to have the last word, or allow them to forever define how future generations of Americans would learn about, remember and observe 9/11," David says. Inspired instead by a remarkable spirit of national unity and compassion that arose in response to the terrorist attacks, David and Jay wanted to transform 9/11 from day of tragedy into a day of national unity and doing good. The idea with 9/11 Day was simple: Invite Americans to do one good deed on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in tribute to 9/11 victims, first responders, recovery workers, military, those injured and others impacted by 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“For a period of time after 9/11, we weren’t Red States of Blue States. We were the United States,” David says, “People did everything they could to help one another, not only the victims of the attacks, but people they didn’t know, perfect strangers who might have been stranded, or needed a helping hand. We wanted to keep that spirit of togetherness and service alive as a permanent and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, first responders, members of our military and others who rose in service in response to the attacks."

Under David’s leadership, 9/11 Day has grown to become the nation’s largest annual day of service in the United States, now formally recognized under federal law and Presidential Proclamation. As president and chief operating officer, David creates and oversees many of 9/11 Day’s programs, including its nationwide 9/11 Day Meal Pack volunteer service projects, now held in eight major U.S. cities, which mobilize more than 12,000 volunteers who together pack over three million non-perishable meals for people in need. David also guides national fundraising, works closely with hundreds of companies and other organizations, and coordinates federal activities in support of 9/11 Day, working with the U.S. Congress, White House and the Corporation for National & Community Service, a federal agency that oversees national service programs including AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps.

Prior to creating 9/11 Day, David founded and lead the national public relations firm, PainePR, an award-winning agency known both for its outstanding creative work, as well as its pioneering use of innovative humanistic philosophies in the workplace. During David’s tenure, the firm was named “Best Managed,” “Best Place to Work,” and “Most Creative” among national agencies, and also won more than 200 awards for its work. David lives with his wife Laney and their four children, Ryan, Alyssa, Eric and Matthew, in California.

Feel free to contact David by email at: david.paine@911day.org.

Jay S. Winuk is co-founder and executive vice president of 9/11 Day and MyGoodDeed, the nonprofit organization that annually organizes the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

On September 11, 2001, Jay’s brother Glenn J. Winuk, an attorney, volunteer firefighter and EMT, was killed in the line of duty at the World Trade Center. Inspired by his brother’s devotion to community service and courageous actions, Jay joined David Paine in 2002 as co-founder in helping to build the 9/11 Day Observance initiative. He has become a passionate advocate for volunteering and national service.

Jay is a frequent public speaker and a leading national voice about volunteerism, charitable service, terrorism, individual empowerment and his own experience as the brother of a murdered 9/11 first responder. His work, commentary and personal story have been featured in major news media reports, documentaries and books throughout the nation and world. Jay was a featured speaker at the nationally televised ServiceNation “Presidential Candidates Forum” at Columbia University, representing the 9/11 family community and delivering his remarks just prior to those of candidates U.S. Senators Barack Obama and John McCain.

Since co-founding MyGoodDeed, Jay has spoken about charitable service and volunteerism before dozens of audiences – including at national conferences, corporate and annual meetings, press conferences with national legislative leaders, charitable events, on Capitol Hill, at colleges and high schools and more. Opinion pieces and articles Jay has written about these themes have been published by numerous media outlets and organizations, including CNN.com, Yahoo News, the National Constitution Center, Gannett Newspapers, McClatchy, Maria Shriver.com, the HandsOn Network, The Record and the United States Department of State, which invited Jay to write a piece for its publication, “Resilience After Terrorism,” which was distributed to all U.S. embassies around the world in 2011.

In June 2011, Jay received from President George H.W. Bush and the Points of Light Institute the “Daily Point of Light Award” for “creating meaningful change in communities across America” and “helping to shape a better tomorrow for our nation.” In September 2008, Jay and David received the “President’s Call to Service Award” from The White House, one of the nation’s highest civilian service honors. In December 2011, Jay received the “Most Inspiring Person of the Year” Award” from Beliefnet, the largest online resource for inspiration and spirituality. In September 2011, he and David were awarded the “Teammates in the Community Award” by the New York Mets and the Citi Foundation for their work promoting service and volunteerism.

In recognition of his work in the national service sector, and as a tribute to his late brother Glenn, Jay was invited by U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to be her guest at President George W. Bush’s final “State of the Union” address on January 28, 2008. Upon the killing of terrorist Osama Bin Laden by the U.S. military in May 2011, Jay was invited by the White House to be among a select group of 9/11 family members to meet privately with President Barack Obama.

In association with his late brother’s law firm, Holland & Knight, Jay directs the Glenn J. Winuk Humanitarian Fund, which provides scholarships to college students demonstrating a record of community service and makes other charitable grants

In addition to his leadership role for MyGoodDeed, Jay serves as president of Winuk Communications, Inc., the public relations agency he founded in 1994. He has won numerous national public relations awards, including Silver and Bronze Anvils from the Public Relations Society of America, the industry’s highest honors, and has provided PR support to many of the nation’s leading corporations, nonprofits and other organizations. Previously, Jay was an executive at Burson-Marsteller and Golin/Harris, two of the nation’s top 10 PR firms, and served as director of public relations for Radio City Productions, the nation’s leading live entertainment company. He also was a partner and managing director of Dirty Water Integrated, a branding/advertising/PR agency. Over the years, Jay’s clients have included the NFL Alumni Association, The Coca-Cola Company, General Foods, the city of Berlin, Pfizer, Kreindler & Kreindler, a Journey for 9/11, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Citibank, Clear Channel Entertainment, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Robert K. Futterman & Associates and many others. Jay began his career in the nonprofit sector, serving as the director of public relations for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. He earned a master’s degree in public relations from Boston University and a B.A. degree in communications from the State University of New York at Oneonta.

Katie Loovis is the vice president for external affairs at The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, former Secretary of the Board for MyGoodDeed, and a long-standing supporter of establishing 9/11 as a national and global day of service and remembrance.

Katie’s career in public service includes key roles in government (The White House), business (GSK), and the nonprofit sector (Achieving the Dream). She is a strategic communications and government affairs executive with 20 years of experience developing meaningful, multi-sector partnerships that transform lives and improve communities. Globally, Katie is on the Advisory Board for Corporate Citizenship at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She participated as a delegate for the U.S. Department of State-sponsored program to Israel and the West Bank coordinated by the American Council of Young Political Leaders in May 2012 and captained the USA Under-19 Women’s Lacrosse Team to a silver medal in the 1995 World Cup.

Locally, Katie is on the Board of Directors for Durham Tech Foundation and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, and is Secretary of the Board for the regional chapter of the American Association of University Women. She is an appointee to the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness Leadership Council and the Orange County Local Reentry Council, is a member of the Junior League, and is a former Rotarian. Katie volunteers with the NC Study Center and is a graduate of Leadership Chapel Hill-Carrboro (2017), Leadership North Carolina (2018), and the Town of Chapel Hill's Inaugural Peoples Academy (2018).

Katie earned an MPA and BA in Communication Studies with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she co-captained the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Team. There is an endowed scholarship in her name. Currently, Katie is earning her doctorate (Ed.D.) from NC State University with a focus on Community College Leadership. She is a Master Gardener (2015-2016) and delighted to live in “Blue Heaven” and cultivate four beautiful acres of native fruit and nut-bearing trees.

Joe Spalluto serves as Chairman of MyGoodDeed, having joined the board of directors in 2006. At the time of the 9/11 attacks Joe was Managing Director of Keefe, Bruyette and Woods. Keefe, Bruyette and Woods – the nationally respected New York-based investment banking and services firm was headquartered in the World Trade Center and lost 67 of its colleagues during the terrorist attacks. Mr. Spalluto received a BA from Amherst College and a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

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