On May 6, 2008, six children and teens were honored by winning the American Humane Kind Kid Contest during the Be Kind to Animals Week. The winners won $2,000 (grand prize) or $750 (runner-up prize) for showing dedication and compassion toward animals.
The grand-prize winners include an 8-year-old Chicago boy who raised money for shelter dogs, and a 17-year-old girl from Hawaii who volunteers at her local Humane Society.
Ian Cahr of Chicago runs Ian’s Bead Company (www.iansbeadcompany.com). Ian sells his beaded jewelry at trunk shows hosted by Chicago businesses which has raised more than $10,000 for the shelter dogs at Chicago’s New Leash On Life (NLOL).
Kristen Uyeoka of Aiea, Hawaii, began volunteering at the Hawaiian Humane Society and realized her passion for promoting the bond between humans and animals and the humane treatment of animals. She created interactive lessons plans to teach preschool children these values.
Runners-up include: 12-year-old Mary Lace of Wayne, Ill., who spends most of her time away from school to bring adoptable animals from DuPage County Animal Care and Control to visit a convalescent center, bringing joy to shelter dogs and cats as well as convalescent inhabitants.
Cady Arruda, a 10 year old from Westport, Mass., saw a Purina commercial about animal shelters. She decided to help shelters by sculpting animals from clay, and mounting them on cards. Proceeds earned from the cards were donated to local animal shelters. So far, local horse-rescue organizations have received hundreds of dollars.
Since he was 12, 17-year-old Nick Beaven, has volunteered at Dearborn Animal Shelter. The Dearborn Heights, Mich., teen has helped develop animal-care education programs for schools and conducted peer-to-peer classes, raised money, and helped care for shelter animals. Putting in more than 400 hours at the shelter, Nick inspired the shelter to reduce the age requirement for employment.
Seventeen-year-old Heidi Johnson of Bellingham, Wash., volunteers at Mollywood Avian Sanctuary and has mastered feeding and medicating the more than 400 birds. She has given presentations about the sanctuary to two middle-school classes where she showed the kids how to build toys for birds.
For more information about American Humane, a national organization dedicated to protecting children and animals, visit www.americanhumane.org