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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Max Rubenstein

Max Rubenstein

Atlanta, Georgia

Max Rubenstein, 18, of Atlanta, Ga., a senior at The Galloway School, is the founder of “Game Givers,” a nonprofit that has provided thousands of new and used video games to hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses to alleviate the pain and boredom that sick children experience. Max’s inspiration was his grandmother, a video game lover who used her neon green Gameboy to take her mind off of her pain while battling ovarian cancer for eight years. One day, while playing video games together, “we talked about how so many kids my age are in children’s hospitals that don’t have the resources for distractions like video games,” he said.

After his grandmother died, Max decided to honor her memory by creating a charity that would provide video games for sick kids. He completed a 10-month program on how to start a nonprofit, and then began collecting donations and contacting hospitals. He conducted collection drives to obtain used games, solicited monetary donations to buy new ones, forged partnerships with video game developers, and held fundraising events including game tournaments. In two years, Max’s charity, “Game Givers,” has donated more than $110,000 worth of games to hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses throughout Georgia, as well as in Boston, Michigan, and Madrid. “I know how proud my grandmother is of the work I am doing,” said Max.