Michelle Chernyavsky is a high school student and avid volunteer with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation— the preeminent 9/11 charity organization that was founded from the tragedy of that day to honor the sacrifice of the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) Firefighter Stephen Siller, who gave his life while saving others on 9/11.
Michelle has been a volunteer with Tunnel to Towers since March 2021 with the In the Line of Duty Program when she was just 13 years old, learning about the Foundation through her family. The In the Line of Duty Program consists of the Smart Home program, the Fallen First Responder Program, and the Gold Star Program. After learning about our mission, she wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of the people that we help.
The In the Line of Duty Program administrators communicate directly with Tunnel to Towers’ home recipients, and Michelle displays sincere care and compassion for each of our program participants. Some of Michelle’s tasks include writing handwritten birthday cards, holiday cards, Line of Duty Death anniversary cards, and packaging personalized gifts to our home recipients. She takes careful care and consideration into each handwritten note that is sent out to them.
Michelle initially volunteered to fulfill the required community service hours for her school, and though she had been offered other opportunities to volunteer she chose Tunnel to Towers above all other opportunities. Michelle wanted to join in on our mission to do good and help the families with young children of America’s heroes and also help our nation’s most catastrophically injured veterans. Although she fulfilled her required community service hours for the school year in June 2021, she continued to volunteer at Tunnel to Towers twice a week through the summer months and has far exceeded the required amount of community service hours for this school year. Michelle has completed over 200 hours volunteering with the Foundation.
Michelle recognizes the value in every task that she undertakes, and she takes her volunteer role very seriously at Tunnel to Towers. She has been dubbed the “Volunteer of the Year” for the In the Line of Duty team; Michelle is an asset to the home recipient program administrators, putting her heart into her work while bringing a positive attitude each and every day that she comes in.