June 24, 2013 - 12:52 PM
KAMLOOPS – A large portion of regular donors to the Kamloops B.C. SPCA are children who bring in upwards of $900 each month, helping the association raise the approximate $500,000 they need each year to operate.
Branch manager Charlene Holloway says many of the donations come from kids requesting money and supplies to donate to the SPCA in place of birthday presents, while some come from things such as bake sales, garage sales or babysitting money.
One annual donor says she first started thinking about donating to the SPCA before moving to Kamloops in 2009 and has asked for donations instead of gifts for her birthday every year since. Shea L'Ecluse has collected an average of $150-200 in donations each year and plans on volunteering as soon as she can.
L'Ecluse says they discovered she was allergic to some animals, including dogs and cats, about a year and a half ago and as a result their family cannot have any pets. That does not stop her from wanting to be around them whenever she can though.
“I love animals. My favourite is dogs. I'd like a pug.” The future vet says.
Younger sister Leah has decided to follow in her sister's footsteps, donating her birthday money from her sixth birthday earlier this year. Her decision to donate came shortly after the Kamloops branch took in a bunch of cats that had been abandoned in a house. A family discussion about these cats had Leah thinking she wanted to help the cats and her $100 donation, plus a bunch of supplies, was brought to the SPCA a short while later.
Mom Corrie says she is proud of what the girls are doing for the SPCA but was more than a little shocked at first.
“I kept asking, 'are you sure',” she says of the first year Shea wanted to donate. “But she is a lot more giving.”
The shock is the same Holloway had when she first realized how many youths were donating to the SPCA.
“We didn't do that when we were kids. It just wasn't something you thought to do.” Holloway says.
Seeing kids as young as five and six coming in to donate is encouraging to Holloway and the rest of the staff at the Kamloops branch. Many are unable to have pets due to allergies in the family or housing situations, she says, but that does not stop them from wanting to support the animals, or spend time with them. Many will also take part in the camps the branch offers throughout the year or volunteer when they are old enough.
“They will be future responsible pet owners. It’s so nice to see the kids being engaged.”
To contact a reporter for this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org,c all (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013