We are so pleased to announce our January and February 2017 Pawsitive Impact Kids Program honorees. Our January and February kids are being announced and celebrated together because their stories stem from the same cool project!
It started as a fourth grade assignment from their teacher, Adam Randall, at Vintage Hills Elementary and turned into a big lesson for these two Pleasanton, Calif. fourth graders: when you put good out into the world, it grows and expands in ways you never imagined.
Mr. Randall’s assignment to his class in September asked students to follow their passions and spread some kindness in the world. The students had four months to complete the assignment. Kids came up with all kinds of wonderful causes from feeding the homeless to helping families in the Philippines to raising money for leukemia research and more. Grace Dykstra and Dexter Harkness chose to support Valley Humane Society.
Working with Valley Humane’s humane educator, Emily Taylor, the kids developed their plans and put them in motion. Grace chose to help the cats at the VHS “Kitty City.” First, she enlisted friends to help her clean up the outside area, raking up 11 bags of leaves! Next, Grace decided to build special shelving so the Kitty City cats could play and exercise. “Since I’m only nine I needed my neighbor Phil Duncan’s skill for building things,” Grace explained. Grace set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the materials. She worked hard to sand and stain the shelves and will install them on Feb. 12. “I feel like I have made a big difference,” said Grace. “I am grateful, proud and excited! Read Grace’s entire story with photos here.
Dexter focused on raising money and supplies for the organization, selling refreshments and collecting items for the VHS wish list. He worked hard at marketing his events and it paid off. He encouraged the community to donate things in their homes that they no longer needed, like newspaper, old yoga mats and even plastic medication bottles that VHS uses to make DIY kitten toys. “I have two pets of my own and I care about them a lot,” said Dexter. “I wondered about animals without a home or food or shelter so I decided to help VHS.” Read Dexter’s entire story with photos here.
When the two students heard about the Pawsitive Impact Kids program and an opportunity to win a grant for Valley Humane, they jumped on it. While the money and supplies raised by the children is certainly needed, Taylor knows the project has a more critical, longer-lasting impact. “It’s so important for them to know that even though they’re young, they can make a big difference.”
After their projects were complete, the two students submitted their stories to Crayons and Collars’ Pawsitive Impact Kids, a national program that celebrate kids who do great things for pets. They were selected as the January and February “Pawsitive Impact Kids.”
The program, sponsored by the Petco Foundation, Petco and World’s Best Cat Litter, recognizes kids in grades K-12 who go above and beyond to help animals. Selected kids are invited to designate their favorite animal welfare organization to receive a $1,000 grant from the Petco Foundation. The organization will also receive a donation of cat litter from World’s Best Cat Litter. The pet-loving kids receive a gift card from Petco and gifts from other sponsors.
Both children designated Valley Humane as the organization to receive the donations As a result, Valley Humane will receive a total of $2,000 of grants from the Petco Foundation and 300 pounds of cat litter from World’s Best Cat Litter.
The Petco Foundation, who believes that love can drive change for pets, people, and communities, is proud to sponsor this program that exemplifies love. “There are so many kids who, at a young age, already understand the importance of caring for animals in need and recognizing how much joy pets bring to our lives. It’s an honor to recognize these young volunteers who are putting their love for animals into action to help save lives. After all, each of us has a role to play in creating a better world for animals,” says Susanne Kogut, executive director of the Petco Foundation.
We’re so proud of you, Grace and Dexter!
For more information or to nominate a special kid you know, visit our Pawsitive Impact Kids page.