John Jay Community Volunteers for 9/11 Day Citywide Pack-A-Thon

John Jay Community Volunteers for 9/11 Day Citywide Pack-A-Thon

John Jay Community Volunteers for 9/11 Day Citywide Pack-A-Thon

Turning a day of tragedy into a day of service, members of the John Jay community participated in Meal Pack for 9/11 Day, a citywide pack-a-thon onboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The event was one of many pack-a-thons held across the country in honor of those who died on September 11, 2001. The meal-packing activities brought thousands of volunteers together to help assemble healthy, dry meals for those in need. Onboard the Intrepid, John Jay students, alumni, faculty, and staff proudly helped package oatmeal for the hungry. In total, 12,000+ volunteers nationwide helped assemble three million meals.

Students Eliza Amador ’23 and Nikhar Rathi ’23 at the Pack-a-Thon
Students Eliza Amador ’23 and Nikhar Rathi ’23 at the pack-a-thon

We spoke with several John Jay students at the event to learn why volunteering for the pack-a-thon was so important to them.

Domenica Ramirez-PerezDomenica Ramírez-Perez 18 
Major: Forensic Psychology 
APPLE Corps

When I came here as an immigrant from Ecuador, and learned about what happened on September 11, that’s when I really understood the resiliency of the City and of New Yorkers. It was such a tragic event, and so many people lost their lives on that day. Even today, we continue to lose first responders due to illnesses related to 9/11. Volunteering for this event helps shine a light on the good we can do when we work together. It’s important to remember that day and what it taught us—we’re stronger when we unite to make the future and our world better.

Olivier WetshindjadiOlivier Wetshindjadi ’19
Major: Criminal Justice
Military and Veterans Services

I am a veteran of the U.S. Army and retired as a Sergeant E-5. It’s important for us to be here today because it honors those who lost their lives on September 11. What better way to honor them than by trying to help feed others? It’s the little things we do that help bring people together and lets us give back to our community.

 

Reem HamaidaReem Hamaida ’23
Major: Criminal Justice 
APPLE Corps 

I heard about September 11 when I first immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt. My father told me that things would be different and that our lives were going to completely change because we’re from an Arabic background. He said life would never be the same for an Arab, because people will automatically view us as terrorists. I wanted to participate today so that people know that the U.S. is my home too, and that not all Muslims are terrorists. It is my job to remember those first responders who sacrificed their lives, and to remind people that this event affected everyone, regardless of their background. We need to remember that the only way we heal is if we come together as a united country.

Jack NugentJack Nugent ’23
Major: Criminal Justice
Athletics, Men's Volleyball team

September 11 is a day to remember the heroism and the people who sacrificed their lives. I first learned about the attacks in elementary school. I remember my teachers would tell us stories about what happened. Being at this pack-a-thon seems like a small act, but it’s an incredible act of goodwill. Giving back to the community is our way of honoring those we lost and using their sacrifice as a reminder that we must be united, we must do good, and we must be kind to one another. 

Rosalma PinedaRosalma Pineda ’21  
Major: Criminal Justice
APPLE Corps

This is my first time volunteering at an event like this one. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone come together today, because it’s a day with such importance. We need to remember what happened on that day and those we lost. It’s important for us to keep their memory alive, and what better way to do that than by coming together and helping our community.

 

Manuel PeraltaManuel Peralta ’23
Major: Political Science
Athletics, Men’s Volleyball

My father is a correction's officer, and my aunt and uncle are police officers, so this day touches me on a personal level, because I could have lost them. The earliest memory I have of September 11 was in elementary school. It was such a horrific moment in American history and I think that even if you weren’t born around that time, you should still know about it. I hope that by being here today I can do my part in keeping alive the memory of those that died.

Eliza AmadorEliza Amador ’23
Major: Forensic Psychology
APPLE Corps

I remember as a kid seeing the ceremonies where they would recite the names of the victims on TV. That’s when I realized how many people were impacted by this horrible tragedy. That’s why it was important to me to be here today to help pack meals for those that need it most—because it’s a way of honoring those that lost their lives. As you’re packing these meals, working with others, doing this good act, you’re honoring them, and you’re honoring their loved ones.

Carlos GomezCarlos Gomez ’22
Major: Forensic Science 
Athletics, Men’s Volleyball

It’s very important for us to remember September 11, 2001, because although it may have not affected me personally, it affected many people I know. To me it’s very important to give back to communities, and to help those communities that need it most. I like the idea that on this day where this horrible event happened, we get to make new memories out of love, unity, and the spirit of giving back.

 

Nikhar RathiNikhar Rathi ’23
Major: Political Science
APPLE Corps; Athletics, Women’s Tennis

I was actually born three days after the tragedy of September 11. I remember first hearing about it in elementary school. Every year on the anniversary, our teachers would show us a documentary and speak about the event. It was really upsetting to learn that so many people died in such a tragic way. Being part of this pack-a-thon is important for me, because there are so many people across the City experiencing food insecurity, so being able to pack meals for people who need it and victims of 9/11 who may need it, is a wonderful thing.

More scenes from the event:

John Jay students, alumni, faculty, and staff hard at work
John Jay students, alumni, faculty, and staff hard at work

Richard Pusateri, Military and Veterans Services Manager, smiles during the meal packing event
Richard Pusateri, Military and Veterans Services Manager, enjoying the meal-packing event

Nikhar Rathi ’23 helping to fill packages of oatmeal
Nikhar Rathi ’23 helping to fill packages of oatmeal

Volunteers measure oatmeal for families in need
Oatmeal for families in need

The John Jay community works together during the pack-a-thon
The John Jay community works together during the pack-a-thon

Carlos Gomez ’22 packs some oatmeal
Carlos Gomez ’22 packs oatmeal for people in need

Jack Nugent ’23 makes sure not to overfill the package
Jack Nugent ’23 makes sure not to overfill the package

Reem Hamaida ’23 doing her part to ensure quality control
Reem Hamaida ’23 doing her part to ensure quality control

APPLE Corps’ Doménica Ramírez-Pérez ’18 and Rosalma Pineda ’21 sign the 9/11 Tribute Wall
APPLE Corps’ Domenica Ramírez-Perez ’18 and Rosalma Pineda ’21 sign the 9/11 Tribute Wall

Proud to be volunteering
(left to right) Reem Hamaida ’23, Eliza Amador ’23, and Nikhar Rathi ’23


(left to right) Manuel Peralta ’23, Jack Nugent ’23, and Carlos Gomez ’22