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EXCLUSIVE: Gabe Gives Back – “I’ve been a literacy advocate since the day I met the girl with no books”


EXCLUSIVE: Gabe Gives Back – “I’ve been a literacy advocate since the day I met the girl with no books”

See how “The Kicks” star is striving to ensure that kids everywhere can enjoy reading

Since he was a young boy, actor Gabe Eggerling has been a working actor. But when he’s not busy filming his Amazon series, The Kicks, or recording the voice of Captain Jake in Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Gabe is giving back. In this edition of #YSBnowGivesBack, the 13-year-old shares his story:

I think everybody has a suspended moment in time that makes them feel like they are caught in the build of the climax of a great book or movie, like the suspension in the boxing ring scene in “Sherlock Holmes'” or the wedding scene in “Moonrise Kingdom.” The reason a writer or director overcranks is to emphasize a higher meaning in the story.

Rewind to when I was 7 years old and I met the girl with no books.  I was reading a story to a class of kids who were older than me.  That went well, but the Q&A went sideways.   A girl asked me why I read so well and I told her proudly that I have a cool library of books at home.  My suspended moment started when she mumbled that she didn’t have any books at her house.  It seemed like the room was spinning but she wasn’t moving, and my feet were heavy and I was breathing hard.  By the time I got into the car with my mom, I was so upset and immediately started brainstorming how I could get books to this girl.  Who doesn’t have books at home?  How could you ever succeed in life without books?  I had a flood of questions. I tell this story because there is a bigger meaning than sharing a personal slow-mo moment. 

So fast forward 6 years.  I have been a literacy advocate since the day I met the girl with no books.  I never saw her again, and trust me I tried to find her, but I have a garage full of books to donate, I’ve traveled to another country to help stock an empty library, and I still go to classrooms throughout the school year and read.  The only difference now, is that I always have books with me to donate to kids to take home.

I want to challenge others this holiday season to watch for their “Moment To Shine.”  We all have them…those times when the crazy hustle of life slows down enough for us to see an opportunity to help someone.  It goes way beyond seeing someone happy.  It gives you that same feeling inside when you have just finished a great book or amazing movie with a happy ending!

Make a Difference Day is October 22 , World Kindness Day is November 13 and Family Volunteer Day is November 19. Visit to find opportunities in your area! Gabe is also nominated in the Philanthropy category for TigerBeat’s 19 Under 19 Awards. Click here to cast your vote!

Are you giving back in your community? E-mail and you could be featured in our next #YSBnowGivesBack column!


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