by Susan Mikula Campbell
Errick Road second-grader Kyle Stoddard is at it again - getting classmates, friends and families involved in a lesson on giving.
Kyle, founder of Kyle's Guarding Warriors, headed up a fundraising/Christmas toys event last December for Disabled American Veterans and the Cornerstone Manor Women's and Children's Shelter in Buffalo.
This Saturday, June 7, from noon to 4 p.m. at Pavilion 3 in Wheatfield's Fairmount Park (corner of Stieg and Nash roads), he and his volunteers will offer a carnival to benefit Dog Tags Niagara.
"This young man touched our hearts, all of us at Dog Tags are grateful for what he's doing for us," said Joe Ruszala of Dog Tags Niagara.
The non-profit group pairs veterans with dogs needing training to be ready for adoption for some two-way pet therapy at the Niagara County SPCA.
As Kyle describes on his blog, "This is a group of veterans that work with the animals at the SPCA. This helps the animals be ready to be adopted and helps the veterans with feeling better after being in the war or feeling bad."
Admission to Kyle's event is to bring a needed item (collars, leashes, food, beds, toys, treats) or to have ordered plants from his pre-event sale. A limited number of plants also will be sold at the event. Hotdogs, salads, drinks and desserts will be available for free with admission, but donations also will be accepted. A balloon artist will be on site from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Carnival games with prizes will be set up at the park. Paracord bracelets will be available for purchase, as well.
Kyle, who has relatives who have served in the military, said, "I want to help veterans because they fight back for our country. They sign up to fight for our country knowing they might get hurt or die and not everyone can or wants to do that. They are very brave and honorable."
He recently met members of Dog Tags Niagara at the SPCA, got a tour of the shelter, and received a "Got Your '6' " pin from a Vietnam veteran.
He also had a chance to cuddle a puppy (see photo).
"I like animals because they're cuddly and loving. Animals don't get mad, sad, and animals don't bully or judge. It's mean and rude to judge and bully animals and people" Kyle says.
Follow Kyle's blog at http://kylesguardingwarriors.weebly.com.