KIMBALL, S.D (KELO) — Most kids spend their summer breaks playing with friends and enjoying the warm weather.
But a kid from Kimball spent the last few summers raising money for the Midwest Honor Flight.
Five years ago, Jhett Kirsch decided to open a food shack at his house in Kimball. Over the next five years, he donated all the money he raised to different veteran causes.
“It started off with not a lot of people coming and we had other people come smoke food and donate food. And then a lot of people started coming and it just got bigger and bigger every year,” said 13-year-old Jhett Kirsch.
For the last two summers, Jhett, his family, and friends sold hundreds of homemade meals to neighbors and those in surrounding communities.
Monday, he presented a check for over $5,000 to the president of Honor Flight, Aaron Van Beek.
“To have someone as young as Jhett here, with along with his family fundraise enough for six veterans to have the chance to go out to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials. That’s pretty incredible,” said Aaron Van Beek, CEO of Midwest Honor Flight.
Jhett says he began this food shack fundraiser after learning of his own family’s history in the military.
“I found out that I had a great grandpa who fought in World War II and other relatives, parents and grandparents that fought in World War II. I decided that I would start raising money to give back to the community and the veterans who fought for us,” Jhett said.
“Jhett never got to meet him. So that’s something our whole family kind of thinks is crazy how he has such a connection to a man he’s never met. So yeah, I think they’re definitely super proud,” said mom Charly Kirsch.
The family plans to continue this every year. Honoring those who serve one meal at a time.