MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A martial arts studio in Conway wanted to celebrate Veteran’s Day by finding a way to donate money to Horry County Veterans Affairs while also teaching students a lesson about giving to others.
Stephen Phillips, the sensei at Kei Shin Martial Arts and Fitness in Conway, came up with the idea to have students at his dojo raise money by selling wristbands.
“I’m a veteran, and I know other vets, and I also work as a law enforcement officer, so I’ve seen lots of struggles that veterans have gone through, and anything that we can do to try and help out, it’s just going to benefit everybody,” Phillips said.
So far, Phillips said nearly $5,000 has been raised, but another part of the effort includes teaching the kids about being selfless and helping others.
“It was important for me because I just felt like these veterans are probably struggling and they just can’t get what they need,” said Brayden, a student at Kei Shin Martial Arts and Fitness. “So if we lend them a hand, they might be able to get back on their feet and live their lives.”
The top three fundraising students, Brayden, Jackson and Zeke, got a surprise autograph from actor Chuck Norris.
“We got him on board, and he was able to do that and it helped create some of the enthusiasm for the event here,” Phillips said.
Phillips said next year he plans to partner with other martial arts studios to raise even more money.