CHAZY - Every senior at Chazy Central Rural School must complete a project which challenges them. Kayleigh Castine was not only able to challenge herself, but raise nearly $300 for the Elmore SPCA animal shelter in Peru.
During her senior project presentation March 23, Castine spoke to her fellow students about the time she spent volunteering at the shelter.
"It was very eye-opening," she said.
To demonstrate the life of the animals at the shelter, Castine asked English teacher Kathryn Brown to sit in a kennel during the duration of the presentation.
"Just to show how uncomfortable at times it can be for the animals," Castine explained. "Especially because they're staying in there for long periods of time. They don't always have somebody to take them out and play with them. That's why these animals need to get adopted."
Aside from volunteering at the shelter, and helping out during the shelter's adoption weekend at PetSmart in Plattsburgh, Castine made and sold jewelry and held a bottle drive, to raise money for Elmore's new shelter.
"I knew that [Elmore] needed lots of help and I knew that they're trying to get a new shelter going and not many people know about that," Castine explained. "So, I wanted to kind of try and help get the word out."
Elmore SPCA executive director KC Mace said people like Castine are truly appreciated in the goal of getting a new shelter.
"It's a lot of fundraising," Mace said. "That's why we love it when people like Kayleigh or others come and pitch in and do their part."
Mace explained to the students at the presentation the current shelter is only temporary until their old shelter on Telegraph Road can be renovated.
"We moved out so we could completely renovate the existing structure," she said, "and expand so that we can provide better services for the animals, give them more space to get out and play."
Castine, who volunteered at animal shelters when she lived in Georgia, said she chose to help Elmore SPCA for her senior project because she wanted to get back into volunteering.
"I don't think a lot of people realize how much help they need and I don't think people realize how much even just a little bit of time would help," Castine said. "I think it's really important that I try and encourage people to help out."