New Rochelle High School junior Jake Gallin has won a Daily Point of Light Award and was recognized the day after Memorial Day by Westchester County Executive George Latimer who declared Tuesday, May 28 officially as Jake Gallin Day in the county.
In 2011 at the age of 8, Gallin founded Stars for Cars to bring attention to and raise money for Blue Star Families and Gold Star Families. He designed and started selling a star-shaped magnetic car decal in hopes of raising awareness of the sacrifices that these brave families make every day.
In 2014, Gallin expanded his efforts, sending more than 7,000 letters to New York state schools, school superintendents and government officials, urging them to make an announcement recognizing military members and their families each year on Memorial Day, Patriot Day (9/11) and Veterans Day. The announcement reads, "We take this time to remember our 'Blue Star' and 'Gold Star' military families and thank them for their sacrifice and generosity. We want them to know that they are a part of our community."
He has taken those efforts nationally, sending thousands of letters each year. So far, 226 schools, districts in 40 states and three sports teams have signed up to make the announcements.
"Over the last eight years Jake has shown an incredible commitment to service and has already made a tremendous impact on the world around him," said Volunteer New York! Executive Director Alisa H. Kesten. "Just as we are inspired by Jake, we hope his story helps those wondering if they can make a difference. Because, the secret is, yes you can!"
"Volunteer New York! has helped me to spread my mission," Gallin said. "Their early recognition of Stars for Cars, when I was in the third grade, gave us the foundation to reach a wider audience. They have continued over these many years to be a source of support, guidance and friendship."
For more information on how you can join Stars For Cars, visit the Stars For Cars website.