LOS ANGELES (KABC) --Our ABC7 Cool Kid for Thursday, Aug. 25, is Luke McGarry, who sells handmade handplanes for body surfing to raise money for kids with special needs so they can participate in surf therapy.
Luke works with A Walk On Water, a non-profit organization that provides surf therapy for people with special needs.
"They take them on these huge surf boards, and they put them on the front, get them in life vests and wetsuits, and you just see the kids smiling and just riding down the wave and having the time of their life," Luke said.
While surf therapy is free, due to limited resources, only a certain amount of families are able to participate.
Luke started cutting, shaping and sanding down handplanes in his parent's back yard and has been donating all of the proceeds toward the cause.
"If I could raise enough money to put on even one more event that means 20 families," Luke said.
Luke has been making the handplanes from driftwood he finds washed up on shore or with donated wood.
"I've been doing it for about six months. I get to go to the events after I donate or when I'm volunteering and just see that I helped make that happen," Luke said.
He said seeing how much the surf therapy is helping others motivates him more.
"We've had a kid who hasn't said a word before in his whole life and said his first word after going surfing," Luke said.
He admitted that interacting with some of the kids made him view life differently.
"I wake up in the morning and I throw on some clothes - that means nothing to me, but for them it's a whole process that they have to go through. It makes you appreciate things," Luke said.