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Thousands of good deeds honor 9/11 victims through Pay It Forward 9/11

September 10, 2023

For Immediate Release

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Charity strives to restore unity through kindness for strangers

NEW YORK, NY (September 11, 2023) -- For today’s National Day of Service and Remembrance in the US and Canada, Pay It Forward 9/11 encourages everyone to perform three good deeds for strangers to honor the 2,977 victims of the 9/11 attacks.

These acts of kindness are part of a larger #11DaysofKindness campaign (Sept. 1-11), supported by generous individual donors and supported by the writers and producers of Come From Away musical, Love Tito’s Foundation, Gallin & Son, JetBlue, Starbucks, and Dell Technologies.

Pay It Forward 9/11 was inspired by the people of the small town of Gander, Newfoundland (then pop. 9,000). The compassionate Canadians selflessly provided food, clothing and shelter to 7,000 stranded airline passengers from 90 countries who were diverted there when US airspace was closed in 2001. This story and the resulting charity are one of the true 9/11 stories conveyed by the writers of the Broadway musical Come From Away.

By encouraging random acts of kindness, this movement has grown to 18 countries and nearly every state in the U.S. Last week, kind volunteers and business owners in New York City, Washington DC, Austin, Kansas City, and Wichita all performed acts of kindness in their communities, from free coffee giveaways, free gasoline and groceries, free backpacks to schools and the homeless, and even free cash to employees empowered to go out and pay it forward.

“When we started this movement in 2002, the words ‘United We Stand’ were pervasive worldwide. Today, we are far from united,” says Kevin Tuerff, founder. “We said we would never forget the lives lost on 9/11. By focusing on the theme of unity and kindness, we are inspiring others to honor their lives by performing a good deed for someone who looks, acts, or thinks differently than themselves.”

One morning, more than 150 pedestrians, construction workers in Manhattan received a free cup of Starbucks from volunteers. In Austin, employees from Dell Technologies worked with colleagues to donate 500 backpacks filled with school supplies to elementary school students, and prompted students to write thank you letters to their teachers.

School students in Texas, Tennessee, New Jersey and Virginia piloted a new 11 Days of Kindness for Kids education program, which teaches the psychological benefits of kindness for the giver and receiver.

It’s not too late to add your heart to our Global Map of Kindness:

Pay it Forward 9/11 social media channels:  


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