Fifth grader spearheads pet collection drive

Kayla Wimpelberg, a fifth grader in Allison Montalto’s class at Tangier Smith Elementary School recently organized a school-wide “My Furry Valentine” food and pet supply collection drive to benefit animals at the Southampton Animal Shelter who are looking for their forever homes.

With the help of fellow students and staff, Kayla collected six large boxes of supplies – one box from each grade level – gathered in personalized boxes featuring an individual animal and its story.

Some of the items collected included bedding, blankets, scratching posts for cats, food, toys and peanut butter which is placed inside of a toy in order to help the animals stay relaxed and occupied. Kayla helped spread the word by creating a series of videos that were played throughout the school leading up to the drive.

Kayla, who would like to be a veterinarian and an artist when she becomes an adult, loves animals and enjoys visiting with them and spending time with those currently at the animal shelter. She also volunteers at various events including the Southampton Animal Shelter’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the annual Pet Expo held at Suffolk Community College and various other events.

For the previous two years, Kayla also held similar pet collection drives to benefit the Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton. Kayla’s sister, Lorraine, currently a ninth grader at William Floyd High School also organized pet drives when she was a student at William Paca Middle School.

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