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NYC Boy Lends Helping Hand in Harlem

12-year-old Donates Equipment, Volunteers Time to IHIH

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

About two years ago, Dylan Gallagher was thinking of a project to do for his bar mitzvah when he came across a documentary about Ice Hockey in Harlem.

Gallagher, 12, is a hockey player himself living on the Upper West Side, and wanted to incorporate his love for the game into his project.

"I found Ice Hockey in Harlem and decided to do an equipment drive," Gallagher told "I got all the equipment from my hockey team and then I donated it to Ice Hockey in Harlem. I decided that just donating the equipment wasn't enough, so I became a volunteer."

Since then, Dylan has donated his time to IHIH, an organization founded in 1987 that aims to improve the social and academic well being of children from Harlem through youth sports, namely hockey. 

Dylan is too young to help on on the ice, but that hasn't stopped him from doing his part. In addition to donating the equipment, Dylan has volunteered to help out off the ice, helping kids to get fitted for equipment and making sure everyone is safe before they hit the ice.

"I thought it was amazing." said his mom, Jodi. "I hope it's something he's passionate about and continues. He loves little kids. He's really enjoyed the two times he's interacted with the kids. It makes you proud."

Dylan said volunteering has allowed him to pay forward his love of the game and introduced it to kids who maybe could not have experienced it due to the high costs associated with it.

"These kids can't afford this hockey equipment. I just wanted to give back," he said with a smile. "I love this game so much that I want other people to play and have fun."

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