Two Jefferson students spearhead drive for animal shelter donations

Rick Wagner • Mar 25, 2017 at 12:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Jefferson Elementary fifth-graders Zoe Payne and Hunter Wells spent their recess time Friday afternoon helping load up more than 400 items donated from students to the SBK Animal Shelter thanks to a collection drive the pair started during the Genius Hour in Intervention at the city school.

After school Friday, the duo and their mothers delivered the items to the Kingsport branch of the shelter. Principal Mike Fulkerson and the girls’ mothers said the two students came up with the idea themselves and used fliers and a schoolwide announcement to promote the collection from March 16 through March 23.

“We’ve been collecting since last Thursday,” Zoe said.

Hunter added, “We like helping them. We love animals and own animals.”

Classmates helped the two girls, their mothers and the principal load the items into the vehicles of the two parents.

Hunter’s mom, Natalie Wells, said the idea originally was for a bake sale. Instead, the girls cooked up the concept of the collection and a contest in which the class that brought in the largest number of items would get a treat of Popsicles. Wells brought the sugar free frozen treats Friday afternoon for the first grade class of Terry Walton. Fulkerson said Walton’s class brought in 99 items, almost a quarter of the whole-school count of slightly more than 400 items.

“The girls did an outstanding job,” Fulkerson said.

Melanie Payne, Zoe’s mom, said the girls thought maybe the shelter needed a boost in donations since it had to close earlier this year because of a virus and is making plans for new facilities.

Donated items included dog and cat food, puppy and kitten food, comforters, sheets, blankets and towels, non-clumping cat litter, latex gloves, disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, regular blue Dawn, cotton balls, toys, collars and leashes, used newspaper and medium and large storage bins.





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