As a little girl, Cecily borrowed her mother’s mascara to draw cat whiskers on her cheeks. While Cecily’s love of animals ruined a few mascara wands, her creative approach to relating to animals continued as she grew up.
“I’ve been very lucky to have all sorts of animals in my life,” said Cecily. “In the last couple of years or so, I realized that not all animals are so lucky to have a warm home, food and veterinary care. I’d seen videos of the animals affected by the Houston flooding, and I’ve seen dogs left on the side of the road, including mother dogs with their puppies. I felt so powerless, and I didn’t like that feeling. That’s when I realized I could change that feeling and make it into something positive by going out and doing something.”
Do something she did. With the help of several coaches and teachers, Cecily, now a senior at Kent Denver School, organized a week-long drive to help the homeless pets at the Dumb Friends League. The drive, which was not associated with a particular class, garnered school-wide attention. “Right after I announced the fundraiser to the school, I had students who I didn’t even know that well come up to me and ask what they could do,” explained Cecily.
The Kent community came together and raised more than $900 for the League in addition to filling a truck with supplies that included cat beds, blankets, leashes, collars, treats, cleaning supplies and towels.
When asked what she enjoyed most about coordinating the event, Cecily said her favorite moment was collection day and seeing how excited people were. In particular, Cecily shared a story about a 6th grader with an exceptionally large heart. “The student donated the cardboard from a couple of paper towel rolls. Nothing wrong about that, the League accepts both the paper towel rolls and just the plain cardboard rolls (as they make good puppy toys). After he dropped his rolls into the box, he proudly told me that he unraveled all the paper off himself to save the Dumb Friends League time!”
Cecily expects to organize another drive this year not only to support the League but also to give students the opportunity to get involved. “It’s empowering,” said Cecily. “No matter how old you are, you can make a difference. We are the future after all.”
Many thanks from everyone at the League to Cecily and the Kent community. You all made a difference in the lives of the more than 20,000 homeless pets at our shelters.
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