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Student leads drive to help animals

HELPING THE ANIMALS — Stanton Elementary fifth-grade student Mayelee Rawson’s love for animals led her to hold a pet drive at her school to benefit animals sent to the Jefferson County Humane Society amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, dogs and cats staying at the site have new toys, fresh food and other items. -- Contributed

HAMMONDSVILLE — Stanton Elementary fifth-grader Mayelee Rawson has always had a heart for animals, and the impact of COVID-19 prompted her to help those in the shelter.

The daughter of James and Katie Rawson of Toronto spearheaded a pet drive at her school and gathered food, toys and other items to benefit the Jefferson County Humane Society.

“I came up with the idea and thought that with COVID-19, those pets are going to the shelter. I thought we could help them by giving them toys and food and make them feel loved,” she said.

Rawson received permission from Principal Shannah Scotch, and fifth-grade teacher Alicia Hartman agreed to be her sponsor.

The event, which ran from March 8-19, initially was set for one week but then extended to two to enable more contributions to be made. COVID rules were followed with the collection, and bags of donations were gathered and securely kept.

Hartman’s classroom soon filled with toys, dog and cat food, laundry detergent and even a few notes that Rawson and her parents delivered to the shelter. Now, dogs and cats living at the site have plenty of goodies from some very caring hearts.

Rawson was happy with the response and said she’s always had an affinity for animals.

“I love it,” she added. “I’ve always been an animal lover, and I have a zoo at my house with horses, a hamster, a turtle, dogs and fish.”

Hartman was overjoyed with Rawson’s generosity, saying good things are expected from her in the future.

“She’s very responsible, she’s kind, she takes care of students and she takes care of animals,” she commented. “I think things she’s going to do big things when she grows up because she takes the initiative.”

Even Scotch was moved by the student’s actions since they have a mutual interest.

“I am extremely proud of Mayelee for her passion in wanting to make a difference in the lives of innocent and helpless animals,” Scotch said.

“When she approached me with the idea of holding a pet drive at Stanton Elementary, we immediately shared our mutual love for animals. I commended her for this great idea and thanked her for having so much compassion because the donations she is able to share with the animal shelter will help provide the care that abandoned animals need until a loving home is found for them. Also, a big kudos to Hartman for serving as the sponsor for this event and helping Mayelee collect, organize and deliver the donated items to the animal shelter.”

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