For many people the tragic events of 9/11 changed their lives. Being a proud New Yorker, that was the day that everything changed for me as well. My life as a social entrepreneur – including the birth of the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities and the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest – can be linked back to that fateful day.
It is therefore a great honor to be partnering with 9/11 Day. It is deeply moving to see the Compassion Games woven into the vision that on 9/11, not only was there an unbelievable tragedy, but there was also an unprecedented level of humanity, caring, and love that emerged and was shared around the world on that day. The goal of 9/11 Day is to keep alive the spirit of unity and compassion that arose in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, providing a positive, helpful way for people to annually remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, and honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks.
David Paine and his partner Jay Winuk wanted to establish September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law. “We wanted to create a permanent and positive way for the nation to annually honor all of the victims and heroes of 9/11, in a way that increasingly helps people in need, year after year.” said Winuk.
Over the next few years, David and Jay created MyGoodDeed and worked with communities to build participation in the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, which became known as “9/11 Day,” gradually gaining more and more support for it in the U.S. Congress.
Then in 2009 with strong bi-partisan backing, MyGoodDeed, successfully secured passage of federal legislation by the United States Congress, with a subsequent Presidential Proclamation, that officially recognized and established September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under U.S. law.
On August 18th, 2015, Compassion Games International and 9/11 Day announced a strategic partnership with the aim to further amplify, ignite, and catalyze compassionate action in communities around the world. The Compassion Games is a 9/11 Day featured partner and 9/11 Day is a sponsor of the Compassion Games. Read the joint press release here.
To help communicate about this relationship and synergies between us, we asked David Paine to answer four questions about our partnership.
Compassion Games International (CGI): Why is compassion important to your work?
David Paine (DP): In the weeks immediately following the 9/11 attacks, our nation experienced a remarkable period of unity and compassion. It was a real awakening. We stopped worrying about our differences and realized how much we all have in common as human beings. If we truly want to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and the many who bravely rose in service in response, we ought to rekindle that spirit of unity and compassion in our country. That’s what 9/11 Day is all about, and why we are so supportive of the Compassion Games.
CGI: Why is playing and supporting the Compassion Games a good idea?
DP: People by nature are compassionate, but sometimes in the face of our busy society we can get out of practice and see our skills for compassion diminish. What is so great about the Compassion Games is that it provides tangible ways for people to develop and use those skills again, and helps them become more compassionate throughout the year.
CGI: How can people learn more about your work?
DP: We invite everyone interested in doing a good deed on 9/11 to visit our website at 911Day.org, watch our video and take the Good Deed Challenge. We also have a national list of volunteer opportunities for 9/11; free lesson plans for teachers, mentors and parents to help them share stories about 9/11 with younger children and teens; and toolkits for employers and organizations.
CGI: What is your hope and dream for this year’s annual Compassion Games?
DP: I’d love to see millions of people enter the Compassion Games this year, and see what happens to them personally as a result. I’d love to hear their stories!
CGI: Thank you, David and Jeff for all your remarkable efforts! You two are clearly pioneering “Champions of Compassion”.
The Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest begins on September 11th and continues through September 21st, the International Day of Peace, and is part of the 11 Days of Global Unity. Visit our website at www.CompassionGames.org.
The Compassion Games is encouraging people from all over the globe to participate in the annual Compassion Games. Kick-off the Games by taking the 9/11 Good Deed Challenge, invite others to play, and share your experiences with the world on the Compassion Report Map. (Players can report anonymously if they prefer.)
In support of the 9/11 Good Deed Challenge, a short video was prepared for this years 9/11 Day, called “Hope was Born on 9/11.”
Can it be that hope was born on 9/11? Can we come together in unprecedented compassionate action to demonstrate that we as a people are capable of bringing love and kindness to a world in need? The answer lives in each of us; in our heads, hearts, and hands.