OKLAHOMA CITY - Thirteen-year-old Sydney Leonard of Oklahoma City loves animals.
She has spent hours training her German Shepard named Clouse.
She also loves her country.
This year, for her birthday, Sydney asked that, instead of presents, she be given large dog items to make care packages for service dogs overseas.
She went online researching what our military dogs and their handlers need and contacted manufactures asking for donations.
And, the response has been tremendous.
Everything from cooling vests for the dogs to doggie goggles to protect their eyes in the blowing sand in the area where they serve.
"It’s very cool,” Sydney said. “People help other people to help more people.”
Family friend Joyce Lackey nominated Sydney for Pay it 4Ward.
“She has a heart for animals, and so do I,” Lackey said.
When we surprised Sydney with the $400 dollar Pay it 4Ward award from First Fidelity Bank during an assembly at Oakdale Middle School, she was overwhelmed.
“I can’t believe it,” Sydney said.
“A lot of times, you think kids can’t focused in on completing a task at hand,” said Sydney’s dad, Lance Leonard. “And, we haven’t pushed her at all on the this. This has kinda been her idea since the beginning."
And, Sydney didn't forget the human factor in all this.
"She's actually gathering items for not just the dogs but their handlers, as well,” said Sydney’s mom, Jennifer. “So, they can have something to open on Christmas that will hopefully make their deployment a little bit easier."
Sydney and her cousin are going to us the $400 to buy even more supplies for our troops and their service dogs.
And, she is working with the Tinker Air Force Base Kennel Unit to deliver the care packages before Christmas.
Sydney - an Oklahoma teen who knows what it means to Pay it 4Ward.
'Pay it 4Ward' is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.