Ryan Kindl is like many a 10-year-old. He enjoys Marvel movies, karate and the Philadelphia Eagles, and he saves up money he receives from chores and gifts. But when it comes to spending his savings, Ryan decided to donate to a cause near to his heart: Milton Police Department K-9 unit.
Following his donation, the department showed its gratitude by allowing Ryan to meet Xena, one of Milton’s two K-9s. Chief Robert Longo presented Ryan with a commendation at Milton Town Council’s Jan. 7 meeting.
“I was really surprised and really happy,” he said. “I wasn’t really expecting anything in return. I didn’t really want anything in return – I just wanted to do it.”
After the department posted a photo of Ryan on its Facebook page, another donation for the K-9 unit came in from an unnamed donor. “They do stuff for us, and I really want to give back,” Ryan said. “I just thought it was a really good thing to do.”
Ryan saves 10 percent of whatever money he gets through chores, allowances or birthday money to later donate to a cause. His parents, Heather and Adam, both teachers, allow Ryan and his older brother, Drew, to pick to whom they choose to donate. Ryan began his giving in 2015, when he worked alongside his grandmother at Milton’s annual Bargains on the Broadkill, where his grandmother sold antiques. Ryan would sell water in front of her booth, and the first year raised $91. He said he kept trying to beat that total every year, making $196 the second year and $304 the next. Ryan donated those funds to Milton Fire Department.
“What we’re trying to teach them is to give to a charity that they know of, that’s local. They know where the money is going,” Adam said. “It was something we thought would be good to instill in the children so that later on, hopefully, they’ll do the same thing and teach their children.”
This year, his grandmother did not do her booth, so Ryan created a save jar for money he would later donate. In the end he gave the $58 he had saved to the K-9 unit.
“He loves dogs,” Heather said.
Ryan is very proud of his dog, Duke, an American bulldog/Shar-Pei mix, and he also had been impressed when he saw police give a demonstration with the K-9s. “Just their intelligence and how good they listened. They were very calm around the kids and the adults,” he said.
A fifth-grader at Milton Elementary School and a Spider-Man fan, Ryan is working on a science fair project that will blend school and his love of Marvel movies. “I’m going to make three web shooters with three different strings to see which one will go farther,” he said. “I like doing experiments.”
While web-slinging is in his present, Ryan said in the future, he would like to be a K-9 officer or a chef. He said his best dish is hot dogs with sautéed onions. “Your cheesy eggs are pretty good,” his mother interjects.
“He watches cooking shows. Instead of watching the drama on it, he actually focuses on the cooking aspect,” Adam said.
Ryan said he enjoys the Chef Gordon Ramsay shows “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares.” While he likes to focus on the cooking aspect, it is difficult to ignore Ramsay’s famously fiery style. When asked if he enjoys when Ramsay yells at the contestants, Ryan said, “Sometimes,” with a chuckle. “It’s funny.”
Besides cooking, Ryan also practices karate. He said he took up the sport, in part, after he was inspired by the Marvel superhero films. Ryan is up to a brown belt, meaning he has almost reached the end of beginner level.
Adam and Heather say they are very proud of what their son has accomplished so far. “I think what I’m most proud of is he just wants to give it and be done. He doesn’t expect anything. He’s not looking for the limelight,” Heather said.
“He chooses to give to something he’s passionate about. We’re very proud of him and what he has decided to do with his money,” Adam added.