Odessa, Florida–The stacks of pet food, treats and fleece blankets stood so tall they almost obscured the fireplace in 8-year-old Sophia Biddle’s family room.
Forty-six bags of Meow Mix. Thirty-seven packages of Beggin’ Strips. Twenty-one rope toys. Piles and piles of Pounce treats, Dentastix, bones and more toys.
Since October, Sophia has been raising money and going with her mother to buy items for homeless animals. She brought in $522.09 and purchased more than $1,000 worth of goodies, thanks to coupons and freebie offers
A few days before Christmas, the Hammond Elementary third-grader and her family dropped off a vanload of donations at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
The Humane Society benefits from a lot of donations and volunteers, said Executive Director Sherry Silk. But it was unusual to hear from someone so young, who saw a need and figured out how to meet it.
“Here’s an 8-year-old little girl who has compassion for homeless animals,” Silk said. “I think she’s a very, very special young lady.”
This is the second year Sophia has reached out to the community during the holiday season. Last December, she sold her old toys on eBay, raising $356 to buy toys, sneakers and clothes for needy children.
Her mother, Kimberlee Biddle, got Christmas lists from several children at the elementary school where she used to work. She and Sophia shopped for the gifts together, wrapped them with tags signed “Secret Santa” and delivered them to families
Her mother told her what the Humane Society did, and Sophia worked out a way to make money. She created bookmarks with cat and dog silhouettes, and she and a friend gave them away to donors in her Odessa neighborhood. She also set up a booth at her school’s carnival.
She wrote a plea to help “our furry friends who don’t have homes,” which she taped to a jar. Her father, Randy, took it with him to work at Graybar in Tampa. One client gave a $50 donation for the Humane Society
Source courtesy of www.tbo.com