When her beloved cat passed away Jaelynn Shelton, age 8, decided she wanted to give back.
"She kept saying she wanted to get treats or something for the animals, so I wrote the Animal Shelter and asked if she could volunteer - but she's too young." said her mother, Kendall Shelton. Not to be deterred from her goal, Jaelynn came up with a plan.
On August 4th, Jaelynn set up a lemonade stand in front of her grandmother's shop, Shear Wildness, in the Courthouse Village. Driven by her dedication and passion, Jaelynn worked 14 hours over two days in the heat. Her goal was to donate 50% of what she collected, expecting to raise $50 to $100. When word got around, donations started flooding in; by the end of the day on August 5th, Jaelynn had raised over $500. Shear Wildness donated an additional $200, bringing her total to a little over $750. "I was just so impressed that we were able to do that much", said Kendall. Instead of keeping 50%, Jaelynn decided to donate $700 to the Animal Shelter, keeping only $50 for her supplies.
"It is heartwarming that someone who wanted to volunteer with us, but couldn’t because of her age, would look for another way to help homeless pets in our community.", said Job Greene, Director of Animal Care and Protection for Goochland County. The minimum age for volunteers at the shelter is 16. Anyone who isn't eligible to volunteer but is looking to make an impact can donate items or simply share posts about their adoptable pets on social media. "We really appreciate the incredible support of the community, and we are very lucky to have that here in Goochland. We hope anyone considering adopting a pet will come to the Adoption Center and meet some of the wonderful pets in our care."
When asked if she would do it again, the answer was a clear 'yes'. "I want to inspire other kids to do it, so they can help whoever they want to help." For more information on the Goochland County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, please contact shelter staff at 804-556-5302.