Midlands high school students surpass goal in fundraiser providing service dogs for veterans

GILBERT, SC (WIS) - Students at Gilbert High School set out to raise $1,500 to provide service dogs for Midlands veterans suffering from PTSD - and their hard work led to them they surpassed that goal!

Anslee Snelling and Hannah Cheatham are both seniors at Gilbert High School.

"They give us the freedom that we have every day," Snelling said.

Students at GHS don't hide their passion for our vets. It's an Expeditionary Learning school, which means they learn by conducting "learning expeditions" rather than just sitting in a classroom. Their love for veterans was all a part of their senior project this year.

"We were tasked with doing a community service project that would leave a lasting impact on the community," Cheatham said.

They had already heard first-hand what it's like to live with PTSD after local vet, James Moore, came and spoke to their class. Gilbert High math teacher Patty Spears is the crew leader of the senior project.

"That just kind of helped to solidify that that's what we wanted to help our community and our student body learn more about – veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome," Spears said.

Moore shared his story with WIS earlier this month about how he says Service Dogs for Vets and his dog Boss helped him gain his life back after being diagnosed with PTSD.

"I went on the WIS Facebook and I saw all the comments and people wanting to donate and just wanted to learn more about it. It's awesome to bring awareness to everybody," Moore said.

In the beginning, Gilbert High School students set out to raise $1,500, but the community had other plans.

"The fact that we raised $3,000 is just crazy to us," Snelling said.

In addition to the $3,000 in donations, Lexington County Animal Services has also donated a dog to take part in the program.

"I want to thank the senior class at Gilbert High School. This is amazing. As the veterans and service members come home, it's great to know that we have support here," Moore said.

Next, two veterans will undergo a seven-month training with their new dog.

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