Children’s Rights is delighted to welcome longtime CR supporter Jay Galluzzo to its Board of Directors. Jay is an attorney and the co-founder and CEO of Flywheel Sports, Inc., a leading chain of boutique indoor cycling studios. He lives in New York City with his wife and two small children. CR recently sat down with Jay to talk about his decision to take on a crucial role at CR:
CR: This is your first time sitting on a charitable board. Why CR?
Jay: I’ve been passively involved in philanthropy since I started drawing an income. But I always felt that I was saving up for something really important. When I got to know Children’s Rights, I knew it was the right place for me–the work they do to reform foster care is just that critical.
CR: Have you always been interested in children’s issues?
Jay: Back in 2003, I was general counsel of a global apparel company, and one of my departments monitored labor forces of third-party manufacturers around the world. The biggest focus for us was on preventing the use of child labor. We had a real institutional philosophy about workforce and workplace conditions and that led to my interest in child protection.
CR: How does being a father affect your outlook on foster care?
Jay: When you see your child in a risky situation, or not treated fairly–which often is nothing more than someone not being nice to them on the playground– you have this visceral reaction. It actually hurts. To extend that pain that you feel to the abused and neglected children that CR seeks to protect, it is heartbreaking.
CR: Why do you think people should support CR?
Jay: At Flywheel, we give a lot of support to community causes. When I thought about joining CR, I realized I wanted to bring something forward that every single person in my organization would absolutely support. My colleagues’ enthusiasm has been overwhelming. They, like me, see that CR is improving foster care systems in real time, and the funds are truly needed. This is an organization that is taking every dollar raised, stretching it to two and putting it to good use.
CR: Why should people care about fixing dangerous child welfare systems?
Jay: People often read about foster care problems in the news, and think, “Oh that is terrible, how can this happen?” Through CR, I’ve met some of the children who have been hurt, and meeting them had an impact, to say the least. They have also made me think about all the stories we don’t hear, because for every kid who stands up at a benefit and talks about how they made it through foster care, there are thousands of children who haven’t. For each child that we can put into a safer environment, or expose to something more loving than a current state system provides, there is more of an opportunity for that child to do something spectacular.
Read additional articles in Notes from the Field, the Children’s Rights Newsletter: