NBC 25 News, August 13, 2015
by Leslie Toldo
Buena Vista — Think of him as a hero for the heroes. 11-year-Old Dylan Beall set out to help homeless veterans, and ended up doing more than he could have ever imagined.
There are plenty of heroes to go around in this story. First, there are the clients of the 1-percent Pantry-veterans who risked all for their country, and now need help themselves.
There is also Capt. Corey Waiters, who helped found the pantry in Buena Vista while he was the field commander for a Bay City based unit.
“This is just something that we can give back to our local community and hopefully this will help spur that,” Waiters says.
But if you ask anyone at the pantry today, the real hero is a sixth-grade bound student from Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School in Saginaw.
“We couldn’t be more proud. He’s a very special kid. He’s always been very giving, very loving. He’s got a huge heart,”beams Dylan’s mother, Melanie.
Dylan says his goal to raise $1,000 for the fledgling pantry was actually inspired by another vet-centered project, “We did a thing called Aaron’s Gifts From Home, at school. So I got inspired by that and wanted to do something like it.”
“When he heard about this food pantry, he knew this is where he could help. So when he set his $1,000 goal, the very first thing he did was talk to our pastor at our church,” Melanie says.
When all was said and done, and Dylan added up contributions from his church family, and the time he logged going door-to-door on his own, Dylan exceeded his goal.
His mother says Dylan nearly tripled what he originally hoped to raise, “As off today we were almost $2,700, so he’s done a great job.”
Dylan says it was all done for one simple reason, “To help veterans who don’t have jobs or don’t get paid a lot and who need food.”
Capt. Waiters says Dylan’s mission was accomplished and then some, “We look at Dylan as the next generation, so when I become a veteran I do know that we are in good hands.”
The 1 percent Pantry has helped at least 100 veterans so far, and that numbers is expected to rise.
(Thanks to NBC25 for publicizing this amazing story!)