Disney actor spends Christmas giving back in cityPublished 7:07pm Friday, December 27, 2013
Kicking It’s Dylan R. Snyder uses holidays to help crisis center, visit local residents
During a brief break from television, an actor decided to help out through the gift of giving.
Dylan R. Snyder, a 16-year-old Tuscaloosa native, plays the character “Milton” on the Disney Channel comedy series Kickin’ It, which is in its fourth season.
Snyder, who is in town for Christmas and visiting grandparents Cora and Bob Hamrick, wanted to help out the Tallapoosa Christian Crisis Center during his stay.
“They’ve put out little food drop boxes at several places around town – Goody’s, Medicine Shoppe, Dark Insurance, Cloud Nine, Roses and the TV station,” Snyder said. “So I just want to help spread to word to help them out. I enjoy coming back to visit my grandparents, and Alexander City has always been like our little getaway.”
Snyder also helped out by going on local show At Home With Kenny Dean Friday evening to raise funds and goods for the crisis center, and also provided the center with a monetary donation.
Karen Howle Hurst, director of the crisis center, said she’s very appreciative of Snyder’s help.
“It’s wonderful. It’s really nice to know that somebody in his position will come and give back to a small community,” Hurst said. “His efforts will really help the crisis center even after Christmas is over.”
Snyder said he has always looked for ways to help out others, and that was instilled in him at an early age by his sister.
“I’ve always been a pretty charitable person. It kind of spawned from my sister (Cassidy) – she’s 11 years older, so she did a lot of raising me and teaching me any way she could,” Snyder said. “That’s how I actually started acting because she would take me around and that led to more charity stuff because we’d go as a group to sing at nursing homes and help out with bake sales and things like that.”
Since then, Snyder has worked with other charitable organizations, such as the American Cancer Society.
“When I moved to New York, I worked on Broadway in Tarzan, and when I got on Broadway I got a note in my dressing room from an organization called Broadway Kids Care to join,” Snyder said. “That was a philanthropic organization where we would raise money, pack boxes for troops and send things to organizations like The Secret Garden.”
All of those efforts, Snyder said, are just different ways to use his work to help others.
“When I moved to California, I got a little more of a name from working on television now, so I’m trying to use my name, not to benefit me, but help out organizations in general,” Snyder said. “It makes me appreciate the people and the power that they have, so that’s why I give back.”
What truly makes giving back special, he said, was being able to see how charity can have an effect on others.
“It always has made me feel really good about what I’m doing. It gives you perspective on things, especially when you see the impact that you’ve made,” Snyder said. “I’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity when the April tornadoes came through Tuscaloosa. I helped build a house, and that was where I got to see some impact because the family came by whose house we were building. It gave me a perspective on what I do and how it can help people.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing something right.”