SPRINGVILLE, NY (WIVB) – A high school senior from Springville is using his best strength to help children with disabilities.
Eighteen-year-old Jake Smith is a senior at Springville Griffith Institute. Last fall, a volunteering project brought him to the Children’s League in Springville where his interaction with some of the children with disabilities struck a nerve.
“When I was inside my Mom, the doctors told my parents that I would have Don Syndrome, and luckily I don’t but I’ve always had that special spot in my heart for these kids and why should they be held back from a disability. I just wanted to help them.”
He used wrestling as a way generate sponsors who would donate for each win. He launched Jake’s Mission- Pinning and Winning for the Kids as way to raise money to help the school build a new multipurpose room. He would invite the kids out to help with coin tosses. He raised $8,000 dollars for the Children’s League.
“He has such a genuine interest in the kids,” said Children’s League Executive Director, Christine Lewis. “He’s gone out and done some soliciting for us and I think the message that he’s spreading is such an important one that kids are helping kids.”
Jake finished his season with 34 wins and only 8 losses. Raising eight thousand dollars exceeded his expectations, but the cost of building a multi purpose room could approach a million dollars, so he came to News 4 because he wants to challenge businesses to help in this cause.
“You know what, you could settle with good, settle with average but I want a little bit more. I was raised around coaches and parents that taught me to always be better, be better and not stop.”
If you’d like to learn more about Jake’s Mission, you can email Jake or call Jake at (716) 592-0209.