NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A day of service led by the 9/11 Tribute Museum brought hundreds of volunteers together for one cause, to give back to families affected by 9/11.
Armed with tool kits and bike parts, more than 400 volunteers got to work on Wednesday, proving they’ll never forget.
It took place right beneath the World Trade Center. Employees from companies directly affected by 9/11 built bikes for children of U.S. military members across the country and 9/11 first responders here in New York.
Each one was assembled by hand, then decorated with bows and personalized letters being packed away for delivery.
“It’s just another day of remembrance for the people we lost on 9/11, for the city, residents and workers to build these bikes for such a great cause,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Bob Ganley.
Volunteers were divided into teams, responsible for everything including assembly, quality control, writing notes and filling tires.
One volunteer was once a recipient herself.
“When you’re older and look back on your childhood those are the kind of memories that stick out, getting your first bike and being able to ride it,” Maleea Santiago said.
As a daughter of a service member, Santiago says that feeling is the reason she continues to come back and lend a helping hand.
“The people here, they’re not just building bikes, they’re creating memories, lasting memories. I want to make sure they know we’re appreciative for all the work they do,” she said.
More than 500 bikes will be donated this year. Many of those will go to families in our area.
“The New York City Department of Sanitation was one of the responding agencies,” said Edward Grayson. “We’re taking 80 of these bikes as well for our own responder families. It’s always a heart warming experience because we spent so much time down here in the recovery effort.”
The others will be shipped off to Fort Bragg in North Carolina for distribution.
This event comes just days before the Tunnel to Towers 5k run to benefit 9/11 survivors and others.