Perry students give $1000 to local animal shelter

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — An elementary school project about business became much more than teachers ever bargained for.

“We were trying to get stuff to maybe be able to play whiffle ball outside or maybe do kickball and then it blew up,” said Jessica Lebrun, a fifth-grade teacher. “Our $50 we thought we were going to get turned into $550 and that’s kind of where the project took a bit of a turn.”

First and fifth-grade students at Tucker Elementary partnered to make “flower-grams.”

The students sold their flowers at school around Valentine’s Day. Fifth-grade teacher Jessica Lebrun calls the outpouring of support “shocking.”

“When we realized how much money we had made, we were like, we can’t spend this money on ourselves because we thought we were going to have 45-50 dollars,” Lebrun said. “And, one of the fifth-grade students said, ‘well why don’t we donate it?'”

The students voted to give the money to the Friends of Perry Animal Shelter, a cause near and dear to first-grader, Jaceyn Hall’s heart.

“FOPAS had the most votes, which really meant a lot to me because that’s where we got our dog, Otto,” Hall said. “He was just in the street, and then they went and got him.”

The kids raised $550 dollars all on their own, and the local rotary club matched the donation to give the animal shelter $1000. Fifth-grader Cali Williamson was happy to give the shelter the money.

“The owner came to our school, and we gave her the check,” Williamson said. “She was really surprised.”

Shelter owners Amanda Johnson and Lynne Gibbs say their hearts are filled with gratitude.

“For them to be considerate of animals and want to help animals, that meant a lot to both of us,” Gibbs said. “We come here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day, holidays it doesn’t matter. We’re always here every single day of the week and we get tired.”

The shelter says adoptions have been down during the pandemic and that the money will help.

“We have bills like everyone else so this money might just go towards the electric bill [and] the water bill. The cats have to eat, so it might just go toward caring for the animals,” Johnson stated.

No matter how the money is used, 1st-grade teacher Victoria Mendoza says she’s happy her students were a part of it.

“We’re just super proud of our kids,” Mendoza said. “I mean we facilitated it but they’re the ones that made it happen”

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Categories: Featured, Local News, Pets & Animals

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