“I always believed in helping those who are less fortunate than I am,” she said. “I’ve just always believed that’s really the way to go.”
Jessica, 15, enjoys helping animals and joined the club earlier this school year. Members get to select a pet from the shelter and encourage others in the community to adopt it.
“The shelter agrees not to euthanize that animal that they have sponsored,” said Claudine Wilkins, executive shelter director of Homeless Pet Clubs. “Once [the pet is adopted], they go on to another and another and another. So in essence, they build traffic into the shelter, which is what they need.”
The group was established in Atlanta in 2010, and chapters of the club are formed within schools, community groups and sports teams, Wilkins said.
“[The children in the clubs] feel like superheroes,” she added. “When they get an animal adopted, they can really say to themselves that they’ve saved a life.”
Wilkins said she was moved by Jessica’s decision to donate to the DeKalb County shelter.
“It was my Christmas wish coming true in that being a child, on her very own, made this wonderful, generous decision to give up something that was hard earned to give to something that was less fortunate than her,” she said. “For me, it was just an act of amazing good will especially for a young heart like that.”
Jessica said she visited the shelter with her fellow club members and thought the money they had raised through the bake sale would be very beneficial there, and she wanted to do more.
The money donated helped the shelter purchase supplies on its wish list, she explained.