Home • Burlington County News ‘Giving back to the community’

‘Giving back to the community’

Local students donate earnings to county animal shelter.

Two 11-year-old Mount Laurel students raised $60 last month for the Burlington County Animal Shelter (BCAS) from a neighborhood yard sale.

Lela Canataro and Ellie Harding are students at Hartford Upper Elementary. Their  neighborhood typically hosts community yard sales twice a year, and in the weeks prior to the latest one, they crafted bead bracelets to sell. 

Lela’s mother, Jamie Canataro, explained that the pair’s love of animals was a deciding factor in their donation.

“They spent weeks making these bracelets,” Jamie said. “One of our neighbors organizes (the community yard sale), then sets the date and posts flyers for it, and all the houses who want to participate put the items in their driveway and sell.

“Both girls have dogs and they both love and want to help animals,” she added. “They made about 60 or 70 bracelets. Some were priced at $2, some at $3 and they offered a deal where people could buy two for $5.” 

The animal shelter is a rabies control center for the 40 municipalities in the county. It also provides essential services for reuniting lost pets with their owners and providing unclaimed adoptable animals a chance for a new home.

The students made $120 at the yard sale and donated half to the shelter. Both are hopeful their earned money will benefit some of the animals, especially now that the shelter is near its capacity.  Canataro explained that all donated funds benefit the animals and are not used as a general fund.

“All of the money goes to food for the animals,” she said. “Most of it is volunteering and donations, so it’s not even like it goes to employee pay. I know a lot of the donations go  toward caring and providing veterinary care for the animals.

“(This helps with) getting the girls involved early in giving back to the community and volunteering,” Canataro added. “I think it’s important for them to learn to give back and to take care of others who are less fortunate. A lot of times it’s really helpful to find something you really care about and … both of these girls are so passionate about helping animals.”

Visit the shelter in Westampton during normal business hours to donate. Hours of operation and additional information can be found at www.co.burlington.nj.us/168/Animal-Shelter

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