Girl Uses All Of Her Superpowers To Raise Money For A Service Dog
Like most girls her age, she loves fun things like "ponies & Scooby Doo."
But the preteen is also a budding entrepreneur with a knack for activism — and the reason why will make your heart burst with happiness.
See, Reyna's brother, Ben, is 18 and autistic. The family would like to pair him with a service dog, but according to WMAZ, the cost — approximately $6,500 — is prohibitive.
To defray that considerable expense, Mattie has started shaping miniature bears from chenille pipe cleaners. She calls her creations, which often take their inspo from super heroes and pop culture icons, "Benny Bears."
Of late, the little girl and her mom, Vanessa, have been fixtures in downtown San Antonio, where they regularly set up a table to peddle her wares (even on her birthday!), which has proven popular with both locals and tourists alike.
And as word of the family's story has spread, the media and mom-and-pop businesses like Gino's Deli have rallied to their side.
In a post shared on Facebook, the eatery, which purchased dozens of the designs, announced that the bears would also be available for sale at its flagship location.
"Some of y'all have met the super cute Mattie and bought her cute little handmade bears that Mattie and her mom sell to raise money for a service dog for her brother Ben. Now seems all of San Antonio will know her. The awesome folks at @kens5 will be interviewing her at @Ginosdeli today. She will also be selling her bears come by and see her and support I her worthy cause[.]"
To supplement the funds generated by Mattie's selfless efforts, the family has also launched a GoFundMe campaign, which currently sits at about 10 percent of its target.
In an interview, Vanessa explained that the service dog would bring a transformative element — some much-needed independence — to Ben's daily life:
"Ben doesn't talk. He signs more. He vocalizes. People tend to stay away from him because like I said, he's a big boy. I think the dog would help him open up to people."
Here's hoping the Reyna family reaches its fundraising target and provides Ben with the service doggo he deserves.