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Students give thanks for their furry friends

Stafford Primary School is collecting items for Oregon Humane Society


by: JORDY BYRD - Fifth-grader Grace McGovern donated $157 of her own money and started a school-wide drive for the Oregon Humane Society.Fifth-grader Grace McGovern is leading by example. This August, the student at Stafford Primary School saved her allowance money and sought donations from friends and family members to donate to the Oregon Humane Society.

By the end of the summer, the tenacious girl had collected and donated $157 for the organization. In return, she got to name three kittens at the shelter. She named an orange kitten Jonnie, a white kitten Faith and a gray kitten Hippo.

“I really wanted to donate and help out animals but I wasn’t old enough to volunteer at the animal shelter, so I collected donations,” McGovern said. “Just as I was about to donate the money I got to wondering, ‘If I can donate this much money, what can my school do?’”

McGovern brought the idea of a schoolwide fundraiser to her family and then to Principal Jen Freeborn. On Nov. 5 she stood in front of her entire school — about 500 people total — and read her speech, a little nervously, which addressed the importance of helping animals.

“I think anyone can help animals, even if they don’t like animals as much as I do, they can still help out.” McGovern said. “They can donate just one tennis ball.”

Stafford’s food and funds drive for the Oregon Humane Society kicked off following McGovern’s speech Nov. 5.

McGovern and her friends colored posters to highlight the campaign in their school and students have collection bins in their classrooms.

The classroom that collects the most items will get to name a cat and a dog at the Oregon Humane Society.

So far, McGovern said she has donated half of the items in her class. She hopes the donation drive will help take care of pets that do not have homes and raise awareness within her school community.

“People don’t realize how much stuff we have,” she said. “Animals don’t, so we can at least give them food. ... The donation drive is kind of around Thanksgiving, so it’s kind of like we are having a Thanksgiving for animals.”

McGovern said she has always loved pets. Her family has two dogs — Gus and Penny — a rabbit, a guinea pig named Twix and seven fish.

“I like animals because they are like people, only they just look different. They all have feelings,” she said.

Stafford Primary School will collect food and funds for the Oregon Humane Society.

Food brands the Oregon Humane Society accepts include: Canidae/Felidae, Castor & Pollux, Eukanuba, Innova, Natural Balance, Newman’s Own, Nutro, Pinnacle, Purina Select/Purina One, Royal Canin and Wellness.

Stafford families and the public are invited to donate the following items during school hours.

  • Wet/canned cat food
  • Wet/canned dog food
  • Dry cat food
  • Dry dog food
  • Hard rubber chew toys
  • Rawhides
  • Nylabones
  • Tennis balls
  • Good Mews cat pellet litter
  • Dog treats
  • Advantage/ADVANTIX/Frontline flea control
  • Small bites dog food for small breed dogs
  • Cash/check donations
  • Stafford is located at 19875 SW Stafford Road, West Linn. For more information, call 503-673-7150.



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