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Isabella students determined to help Humane Society

Helping hands: Forty-three students in Wanda Chadwick's sixth grade class at Isabella have been collecting needed items to donate to the Chilton County Humane Society. (Contributed photos)

Helping hands: Forty-three students in Wanda Chadwick’s sixth grade class at Isabella have been collecting needed items to donate to the Chilton County Humane Society. (Contributed photos)

What began as a modest classroom effort to help the Chilton County Humane Society has grown into a community-wide initiative that could make a difference for animals at the shelter.

Isabella teacher Wanda Chadwick learned that the Humane Society held a re-dedication event Oct. 17 and decided her sixth grade class could help the shelter.

She pitched the idea to the class, pulled up the shelter’s website, showed pictures of dogs up for adoption, and answered questions about what happens to animals who aren’t adopted.

Taking donations: Katy Cooper set up a donation table outside Maplesville Supermarket.

Taking donations: Katy Cooper set up a donation table outside Maplesville Supermarket.

Chadwick said she knew immediately that the children had been moved to action.

“There were girls who had tears rolling down their faces,” Chadwick said. “Their attitude was, ‘Oh no, we have to do something about this.'”

The project began Oct. 19 with students bringing needed items from home such as dog and cat food, blankets, pillows, pet toys, treats, cleaning supplies, kennels and pet beds. Chadwick told them her goal would be to provide a bed, blanket and toy for every animal at the shelter, and the students agreed.

“Within days, the students were not only collecting items from home but were visiting local businesses asking for donations and setting up tables at grocery stores in support of our project,” Chadwick said. “By the end of the first week, items had to be moved from my room to a different room due to the large amount of donations.

“I had no idea it would get this big. This has quickly gone from a simple outreach project to an undeniable determination to change the lives of homeless animals.”

Chadwick praised her students’ initiative and said the project has been a way to prove to the class’ 43 students that they can make a difference in their community.

“I’m just fortunate to have a group of kids that have that independent spirit,” she said. “I’m glad they’re on my side.”

For example, Katy Cooper set up a donation table outside Maplesville Supermarket.

Business donations have come from Tractor Supply, which donated a $25 gift card; Garrison Farm and Home Center, which donated a 50-pound bag of food; and Chilton County Feed and Seed, which donated two 50-pound bags of food.

The class is asking for more donations, which can be brought to Chadwick’s room (104).

Donations will be delivered to the Chilton County Humane Society on Nov. 12.

“All items are greatly appreciated by the students but especially appreciated by the animals waiting on their family to come take them home,” Chadwick said. “Animals have no voice to ask for our help, so please do what you can to improve the lives of our shelter animals.”