Pine Belt VFW Riders host fundraiser for Autism service dog

Pine Belt VFW Riders host fundraiser for Autism service dog
Source: WDAM Staff
Source: WDAM Staff

PURVIS, MS (WDAM) - An 11-year-old Purvis boy makes all A's and B's in class, but he could go even farther with a service dog by his side.

Jack has Autism. Now, the Hattiesburg and Purvis communities rally around him. They're raising the money to get Jack the perfect partner to help him with the challenges of Autism.

Jack is active, energetic, and has quite the personality. His friends at school are far from few. He's a pro when it comes to nurf-guns and shines at Purvis Upper Elementary School.

"He makes all A's and B's, but it's a struggle. Everyday is a new day every minute is a new minute," said Robin Sellers, Jack's mom.

Those struggles come from an Autism diagnosis at age three. As Jack outgrows deficits, new ones surface. An Autism service dog would offer jack the chance at more freedom along with protection.

"Like a German Shepard!" Jack said.

"Typically, Autistic children have a tendency to wander," Sellers said. "They tether the dog to the child, so they can't wander off."

The good news is that the Hattiesburg and Purvis VFW's are revving up right now for a "Team Jack Benefit Ride." 

"I'm excited about the poker run," Jack said.

"He wants to ride the motorcycle," Sellers said.

The Sacred Heart Church and school have already helped the Seller's to raise enough money to put the down payment on a dog and be put on the waiting list. The service dog is $18,000 total. Jack gets joyful at the idea of having a sidekick.

The goal of the poker run is to push him closer to meeting his perfect partner who would be trained to protect Jack and keep him on track for years to come.

"The Team Jack Benefit Ride" is Saturday morning at nine. It starts at VFW Post 3955 in Purvis. The riders go through Hattiesburg and have chances to win prizes. Go see Jack and show him your support.