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An Inspiration to Shoot for the Stars

The Yankees presented Jake Gallin with a $10,000 check in his name for the United Service Organization, helping military families. (Left to right: Nick Goody, Chase Headley, Brett Gardner, Jake Gallin, Brian McCann, Jennifer Steinbrenner, Mariano Rivera.)

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This is the first of a five part series on the Yankees eighth annual HOPE Week. Tomorrow: Sweeping Away Worries For A Day.

What were you doing at nine years old? Most people probably were playing ball with their friends, learning how to skate or drawing a picture for homework. You don’t hear about nine year olds creating organizations or significantly trying to help military families. Yet, this is how Jake Gallin is different.

In 2011, as a 9 year old Jake was watching the Oprah Winfrey show and was inspired to help those in need. That episode featured Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, who were advocating for their campaign to support military families. Jake immediately wanted to help and created the organization Stars for Cars, which sells car decals in the shape of stars to support “Blue Star” and “Gold Star” families. “Blue Star” families are those with family members actively serving, while “Gold Star” families are those that have lost family in combat. 

The five-pointed car accessory has been a successful way to raise awareness as well as funds. Selling the car decals for $10 each, Jake and his organization have sold thousands of decals raising around $20,000 in just five years. The proceeds go to the United Service Organization (USO) of Metropolitan New York, an organization that actively helps military servicemen and women as well as their families. 

The Yankees kicked off their 8th annual HOPE week by recognizing Jake’s efforts. Last Monday, Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Nick Goody, and future Hall of Famer, Mariano Rivera, were excited to surprise Jake in his hometown of New Rochelle. The four current Yankees and Rivera presented a $10,000 check in Jake’s name to be given to the USO. Following the surprise greeting, the Yankees took Jake out to lunch and later in the day, Jake attended the Yankees game against the Angels. Overall it was a pretty spectacular day for the 14 year old youngster.

All in attendance of the Yankees first HOPE week event were impressed by Jake and the other volunteers. From Jake’s elementary school principal, to his third grade teacher who brought this idea to light, to his parents, so many were proud of this young man’s accomplishments. Jake is inspiring for so many others, showing that anyone can make a difference for a good cause. The men and women who protect our country deserve support from those they protect and Jake’s efforts are eye-opening. Who would have thought that a 9 year old kid could create such a large movement with car decals? Five years later his organization is still succeeding and recognizing his efforts is certainly deserved. 

Corey Miller looks back on the Yankees first HOPE Week event, to listen click play below. 

(More pictures below)

GALLERY