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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

More than 900 students dedicate acts of service to Sept. 11

In observance of the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11, more than 900 people pledged good deeds at the Good Deed Mitzvah Marathon.

Documents of the deeds were posted between 4-foot wooden replicas of the Twin Towers at Turlington Plaza.

"Isn't it unbelievable how many random people are doing something practical, doing something positive to create goodwill for these victims?" asked Rabbi Berl Goldman, executive director of Lubavitch-Chabad Jewish Student & Community Center.

Students from the center and the Lubavitch-Chabad Student Group hosted the event.

The event ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and had two tables piled high with informational compact discs and pamphlets about the center, Falafel Bits snack bags, yarmulkes, orange foam footballs and more.

"We're not just trying to reach out to Jewish students this day," said Davita Mabourakh, president of the student group. "We want to reach out and get everyone to do good deeds."

Several participants dedicated an activity they were already doing but chose to pledge it in honor of the Sept. 11 victims, Mabourakh said.

"It's a good way to put meaning into something you're doing," said Mabourakh, who said she would volunteer at Buchholz High School.

Andrew Guglielmo, a UF sophomore, pledged to tutor children at Pine Ridge Elementary School.

Guglielmo said he heard about the Good Deed Mitzvah Marathon last year, but just happened to pass by Tuesday.

"You feel helpless because there's not too much you can do," said Guglielmo. "You can donate blood, time and energy but you can't really repay the victims."

Popular deeds participants listed included calling grandparents and giving blood.

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Kelly Bornemann, a UF sophomore, chose to donate blood.

"I think [the event is] really cool," Bornemann said. "A lot of people forget it's been six years. It's nice to have one group out on Turlington doing something today."

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