BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – “We are a small group of kids that want to help veterans in our community.” The Twitter account #KidsHelpingOurVeterans, which launched last summer, has 3,060 followers.
Its founders, Royce and Percy Santos, brothers from Fort Lauderdale, have made it their life’s mission to help veterans.
When they saw a news story on television about Alton Spratley, a 76-year-old Air Force veteran who lost his home to a fire, they pitched in to help.
Spratley’s small, 1,200 square-foot single story home in the Broadview Park area near Fort Lauderdale burned down Nov. 15.
Spratley was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. He said he was cooking a bag of popcorn when it caught fire.
“I just want to help all the veterans," Percy Santos said. "They served for us.”
The brothers said they make money by holding fundraisers and then use the money to help veterans.
They took Spratley shopping for new clothing, collected enough money to get him a hotel for a week and are helping him to get a place to live by contributing to paying for an apartment.
The brothers set up an eye examination for the Air Force veteran and he will be getting new glasses, which he lost in the fire.
“I couldn’t believe how much help they were,” Spratley said.