WATERLOO, Iowa --- Schuylar Oordt was intrigued by Julian Herington's story.
The University of Northern Iowa football player had never met the Waterloo teen, but when a friend told him about the summertime fundraiser she worked, he wanted to know more. He found Herington's blog and read his story --- he was shaken as a baby and is now legally blind and has a traumatic brain injury. On Sept. 15 Leah Morrison, Julian's mother, posted that they were "only $2,775 away from the peak of fundraising mountain."
"I have been a dog person all my life," Oordt said. "When I learned he wanted a guide dog to become more independent in his life it inspired me."
The story touched the UNI senior enough to make a donation. Each year two senior football players create T-shirts to sell. The profits are divided between those two seniors, who can use it as they see fit. Oordt said some sock their money away for grad school or buy a new "toy."
"I wanted to start something new for future seniors. I wanted to see the money put toward a good cause in the community or around the area," he said. "The Cedar Valley has given UNI so much support, it's nice to be able to give back.
Morrision received Oordt's call Tuesday. He said he was a college student and wanted to make a donation.
"I had no idea he was planning to donate the whole amount," she said. "I was stunned when he handed me the money. He told me he was just a college student and he didn't really have any expenses because his schooling was paid for by an athletic scholarship. It was just so unselfish and showed the generosity of his nature."
Though Oordt delivered the money Wednesday he was not able to meet Julian until today (Sunday). He brought his retired and rescued greyhound Warrior.
"It was a pleasure to finally get to meet him and bond with his family," Oordt said. "Julian got to walk Warrior around the front yard. It was great to see him interact with a dog."
With the $13,000 raised Morrison can make the call to 4 Paws for Ability, a nonprofit organization that trains dogs for people with multiple disabilities. The training process take between six and ninth months and then Morrison and Julian will have to travel to the ranch to be trained with the dog.
Oordt is already making plans to clear his calendar for the welcome home party next summer.