Contributed by Stephanie Kittrell, OHS Community Relations Manager
As the Community Relations Manager at OHS, I have the privilege of meeting people in our community who are doing good things to help pets and people in need. One such outstanding person has made a lasting impression on me and on all the shelter animals—I’d like to introduce you to a 12-year-old animal advocate named Lily Ragan.
Several years ago, this young animal lover heard about the summer camp for youth at OHS. Lily has now attended OHS summer camp several times and enjoys learning about shelter operations, animal care and more during these camp sessions.
At just 10 years old, after attending one of these camps, Lily knew she wanted to do more for the animals. She decided to give back to her community through a school service project.
Lily met with her principal at Cathedral School and received permission to hold a fundraiser to help the animals at OHS. She set up bins around her school where people could drop off donations of pet supplies, and she collected funds for the shelter pets.
Additionally, Lily made a special visit to each classroom where she gave a speech about OHS and presented flyers to each fellow student. And she didn’t stop there: she made a speech at her local parish and worked with staff at OHS to create an online fundraising page to collect even more funds for the animals.
This service project has now been a success three years in a row. At the conclusion of this year’s week-long service project, Lily had raised $1,070 and delivered dozens of needed supplies to OHS. The total amount raised for all three years is now over $3,000, and donations of hundreds of pet supplies such as toys and treats. As a 501(c)(3) organization that operates independently of any other shelter group, OHS receives no tax dollars and relies on the support of outstanding, compassionate individuals like Lily.
Lily plans to do this service project again next year, and would like to attend OHS summer camp again as well. Her current career plan is to become a large animal veterinarian. Lily currently shares her home with a three-year-old German shorthaired pointer and a 12-year-old Dachshund named Sassy.
Lily is an inspirational young woman who will continue to be an advocate for animals in future. Thank you, Lily!