CHURUBUSCO, Ind. (WFFT) -- What began as a fitness journey turned into an opportunity to serve for 15-year old Kendall Stuckey.
The Churubusco Junior-Senior High School freshman began selling cookies a month ago to raise money to support veterans apart of the local organization, Our Turn to Serve.
The non-profit organization assists veterans with service-related trauma by providing them with trained service dogs.
Stuckey began Crossfit training over the summer to help maintain good fitness prior to her school and club volleyball seasons.
“I used to go to Mad Apple in Fort Wayne but then they opened one in Columbia City and that’s where I met Steve and Lady,” said Stuckey.
Stuckey is referring to Steve Thomas, a 21-year Navy and Army veteran who’s also her Crossfit coach.
“It just went from there,” said Thomas. “She’s a good kid and strong athlete.”
‘Lady’ is his service dog, whom he got from Our Turn to Serve after joining in 2013.
She’s also Kendall’s inspiration for her newest fundraiser, making dog chew toys from t-shirts.
“I just really wanted to help people and found a way to do that,” said Stuckey.
She says a gesture of help doesn’t have to be huge or boast many sponsors.
“You can have a bake sale,” said Stuckey. “You can do anything to raise money to simply be helpful.”
Thomas says Lady has been making a difference in his life since they initially met seven years ago.
And he knows other veterans will benefit from the companionship just like him.
“There’s a lot of guys that have sacrificed a lot,” said Thomas.
He says with so much going on in the world, he’s proud of Kendall setting a positive example for youth.
Thomas says, “I think it’s really good to see kids nowadays do something like this. It has a purpose.”
Kendall plans to host a golf tournament in May to continue raising money for veterans.
For more information on how you can sign up, donate, or purchase a 'chew toy,' click here.