Gravesend resident Jack Giambanco has given his all into inventing Friendship Lights, a plastic product with a light diode to represent faith, peace, and unity that he’s been using to cheer up those facing adversity.
“They may be simple but they remind people that someone else is thinking about them,” said Giambanco, creator of Friendship Lights.
Friendship Lights are handmade by the creator himself in his Gravesend garage, which he likes to call The Mythical Friendship Factory.
Giambanco has been donating Friendship Lights to people who are facing challenges in their lives to remind them that they have a friend.
NYU Graduate, Nina Schneider said she saw an ad by him on Craigslist offering his friendship and his light for people who were feeling down or lonely.
“I wanted to meet him because he was a genuinely nice person,” said Schneider.
Schneider moved from China to New York in 2009 to attend NYU and wishes she had met Giambanco then.
“I felt like New York was so cold and lonely,” said Schneider. “I feel safe wearing the light at night and I feel great knowing I have him and a whole community of Friendship Light owners behind me.”
The inspiration for the uplifting gadgets appears to have come from an ethereal source.
“It all started with a dream,” Giambanco explained. “I had a dream where people were united between all different ethnicities.”
He said that in the dream everyone was united with a simple light that was passed around.
Giambanco, disappointed over “all the bad things going on in our world,” decided that he wanted to make his dream come alive by creating this simple light that brought people together.
Many people around him didn’t believe that he could bring people together and create friendships over such a product, but Giambanco refused to give up.
He continued trying to create the cheer-giver, making his first prototype out of a credit card and eventually finding the right type of plastic to make it work.
Ever since, he has had positive feedback from the owners of his creations.
“You don’t see things like this anymore, its so genuine,” said Evan Burgos, teacher and father of three. “The kids love them.”
Friendship Lights can be custom made with different color combinations, LED lights, and scents on the Friendship Lights website for $4.99, or you can tell Giambanco your story as he often donates for a good cause.
Giambanco plans on making different batches of Friendship Lights for all different causes to donate to those in need.
“I hope these Friendship Lights inspire others to follow their dreams, have hope for the future, and remind them that there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” said Giambanco.
— Angelina Tala