Good Neighbors

Will Bark For Brownies! Hear The Sweet Way A Family Raised Money To Buy Their Son A Service Dog

Even during a pandemic his story caught the attention of their community - and the donations poured in!

Even though folks are wearing masks and continuing to social distance to keep themselves and others safe during the pandemic, that hasn't stopped them from rallying to support important causes in their communities – especially when those causes involve buying baked goods.

Luke Barridge, a 14-year-old in Odessa, TX, has autism. While he's high functioning, his family has been looking into ways for him to become more independent as he grows older.

Here's Luke in action making a batch of his now-famous brownies...

When his mother Jessica found out about service dogs and how they can help people with social emotional disorders and high anxiety, she knew immediately that was the answer they had been looking for.

"How much confidence it builds in children with autism, how much more independent they become, and it also serves as a bridge between him and other people socially," Jessica told Your Basin about their reasoning for wanting a service dog for Luke.

Luke and his family were able to raise over $4,000 to put towards buying a service dog to help with his autism. Luke's Dog Blog/Facebook

When Jessica looked into the cost of buying, training and maintaining a service dog, the family was faced with another challenge. So, they decided to sell brownies to raise the money they needed to make their dream a reality.

After putting out the call on social media and having the story picked up by a few local news stations, the family was able to raise over $4,000. Anonymous donors chipped in large amounts of cash and others ordered pans of brownies for local first responders and front line workers.

Luke's story was picked up by a few local newspapers in his hometown of Odessa, TX. Luke's Dog Blog/Facebook

"We weren't expecting this kind of outpouring. We know we are in pretty dire straits at this time," Luke's father Todd said. "We are all wearing masks and staying away from each other but my goodness this just proves if you have one thing happened good, everyone just wants to be a part of it."

Luke even got to personally deliver brownies to the Odessa Police Department, and he's been keeping the community posted via his Facebook page, 'Luke's Dog Blog.' The family recently shared that they've reached their fundraising goal, so no further brownie orders are being taken.

Some folks bought brownies for local first responders and front line workers, so Luke got to deliver them in person! Luke's Dog Blog/Facebook

"We have met our fundraising goal! Thanks to all who have donated," Jessica wrote. "Go Luke!"

While the family hasn't found a dog yet, they've been researching their options and promise to keep their donors updated on their progress.

Luke gets a hand in the kitchen from his trusty sidekick, Mickey Mouse. Luke's Dog Blog/Facebook

Until then, Luke wants to let everyone who supported him in reaching his goal know just how much that he appreciates them.

"Thank you for the donations to help train my dog," Luke said in a video posted to his Facebook page.

What an awesome effort by the community to help Luke and his family. We're sure they'll never forget the support of their neighbors, especially during such a trying time!

The family is no longer taking orders for brownies after reaching their fundraising goal last week. Luke's Dog Blog/Facebook

How can you start something good?

While Luke's family is no longer taking donations to help reach their goal, you can help to provide a service animal for other kids in need by clicking here.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together!

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