Youth Humanitarian Award
Jake Young is not your average 8th grader. A 13-year-old from Long Beach Middle School, Jake started volunteering with his family for the Little Saint Nick Foundation in March 2017 after his brother Cooper fell, requiring a hospital visit and stitches. Cooper received one of the Little Saint Nick Gift Bags in the emergency room. It had such a positive impact on him that it inspired his family to volunteer for the organization.
Little Saint Nick is a foundation dedicated to easing the fear and anxiety of children in local hospitals. For the last two years, every month Jake helps pack 850 gift bags containing a stuffed toy, coloring books and crayons for children. The first Friday of every month, Jake and his siblings dress in costumes and deliver boxes filled with gift bags to Cohen’s Children’s Hospital and the Winthrop Emergency and Recovery Department. In September 2017, Jake became the New York Chapter Leader for Little Saint Nick. Every month at the Gift Bag events he inspires new Little Saint Nick volunteers by sharing stories about Ray Mohler Jr., the founder, and discussing how meaningful their efforts are for anxious hospitalized children and their families.
Jake carries out speaking engagements throughout the year ranging from schools to car shows to golf events, raising funds and awareness for Little Saint Nick. He also hosts December toy drives and has secured 25 business locations that have agreed to host a Little Saint Nick Toy Box collection. The new toys are distributed at Hospital Toy Parties for both St. Mary’s Hospital and Cohen’s Children’s Hospital. A welcome day for many kids who never get to leave the hospital, Jake spends that day lifting the spirits of young children unable to go home. Last years’ toy drive was such a huge success they were able to donate an additional van filled with toys for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, as there was an overflow of toys collected for hospital parties!
In May 2018, Jake was recognized for all his efforts at the Prudential Spirit of the Community Awards, being one of two NY State winners, and was a National Finalist. He was also recognized by our very own New York State Senator Todd Kaminski for his achievements. For his academic achievements, in the fall of 2019 Jake has was named President of the Junior National Honor Society. In addition to his volunteer work, Jake loves to play tennis, golf, wrestle and hang out with his friends.
Jake is truly an impressive and humble young man, possessing extraordinary leadership qualities and a genuine compassion for others. As his mentor Ray Mohler Jr. likes to say, “Jake is extremely grateful for the chance to realize how much good can come from doing good!”