Volunteers help renovate local center for children

For past six years, area businesses donate time, resources to help community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of volunteers came out to the Daniel Memorial Home for Children to help give the facility some renovations Saturday.

September 11 has become a day to honor and remember the first responders and thousands that lost their lives to the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history. In recent years it has also become a day to help to help others in need. 

For the past six years, volunteers from the Holland and Knight law firm have been doing their part to help others. It’s an initiative that was created in part by Jay Winuk, a partner with the firm, whose brother, Glenn Winuk died on Sept. 11 after running into one of the towers to help. He worked at the New York office of Holland & Knight.  

Now, Jay Winuk uses the day to help others.

PHOTOS: Holland & Knight 9/11 Day of Service at Daniel Kids

“This is one of the most personally gratifying days of the year for us,” executive partner of Holland and Knight Daniel Bean said. “We can walk away (knowing) that we've done something good.”

From building new equipment for the kids to laying down new mulch and painting walls, and even setting up a carnival for the kids, the project has much more meaning than simple upgrades.

This year, the Daniel Memorial Home for Children was the lucky recipient of the service project.

“Many (children) come from homes or situations where there was no beauty,” chief development officer for Daniel Memorial Home and Children Warren Caterson said. “For them to come out and see something nice and clean, to see all these adults pouring their time into doing something for them, you can't put a price tag on that.”

Volunteers worked for hours giving the place a facelift. Some volunteers, like the crew from Krystal Klean, starting working at 5 a.m. to clean buildings and sidewalks so that the organization could continue the mission of improving the lives of children and families in the facility where kids now have a place they can take pride in.

“For us, it was important to come in and beautify the campus,” commercial manager for Krystal Klean Ryan Lowe said. “It's a beautiful property, and the buildings have been neglected a little bit when it comes to the exterior maintenance. So, we were happy to come in and help with that.”

For Holland and Knight volunteers, this has become an annual tradition that they enjoy taking part of. It’s a morning where the memory of Glenn Winuk and thousands more is on their minds giving them the inspiration to help others.

“I think Glenn would be thinking, ‘That's what I want you guys to do,’” Bean said.

For the Daniel Memorial Home for Children kids, it's a sight and message they hope carries on with the children they serve.

“It’s one of the things I love about Jacksonville,” Caterson said. “When you need something done, our community pulls together. We have companies come together and do things like this. You can't put a price tag on that.”