NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many people dedicate 9/11 to help others in need, a day of service to commemorate how New Yorkers came together shortly after the attacks 20 years ago.
On Saturday, aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum was an assembly line.READ MORE: Tunnel to Towers Weekend Kicks Off With Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert At Liberty Park
Riley Portka is 13 years old and was among the youngest of the volunteers.
“It’s nice to know that you’re helping out with something,” she told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
She came by train from Monroe. New York, to be there, packing meals that will be given to food banks.
What she and the others are doing mirrors what happened following the attacks — people united to help families and emergency workers.
Complete Coverage: 9/11 Twenty Years Later
“When I look out at a sea of volunteers like this, happily packing meals together for people who are at risk of hunger as a way to respectfully mark the day, that does make me feel good,” said Jay Winuk, cofounder of 9/11 Day, a nonprofit that organizes hunger relief projects.
Happening in 10 cities across the United States, this effort creates 2 million meals.READ MORE: 20 Years After: The Transformation Of Ground Zero
“I do it in honor of my late brother, Glenn Winuk, who was a partner at the Holland and Knight law firm located a few blocks from Ground Zero, but Glenn was also a volunteer firefighter and an EMT for 20 years in our hometown of Jericho, so he helped evacuate the Holland and Knight law offices and then ran into South Tower to save lives, then perished when the South Tower collapsed,” Winuk said.
Also on this day of remembrance and service, donated school supplies was handed out in Harlem.
“We’re totally 100% behind that kind of giving back to the community,” FDNY firefighter Robinson Aupont said.
Aupont helped hand out bags and boxes of school supplies to kids.
The event was sponsored by Friends of Public School Harlem. For NYPD officers and FDNY firefighters, it was one of several stops on this day.
“Shortly after here, we’re gonna go back down to the World Trade Center, and they’ll pay more respect and homage,” Aupont said.
“I will help with carrying it forward,” 13-year-old Riley said.
“It’s very important to us that this ritual be handed off from generation to generation,” Winuk said.MORE NEWS: Remembering 9/11: Live Reading Of Names Returns To Lower Manhattan Ceremony Honoring Victims Of Terror Attacks 20 Years Ago
At both events, kids were getting help and getting involved to move the service side of this important day forward.