This time of year most kids are busy making lists of what they’d like to get for Christmas, but Copper Canyon fifth grader Maegan Worthen is making lists of what she’d like to give: blankets, towels, toys, litter and pet food to the West Jordan Animal Shelter.
“I just really like animals,” Maegan said.
As a first grader she began doing a donation drive for the animal shelter, and this is now her fifth year.
“It’s gotten bigger. We have a lot of businesses getting on board now. We have our sponsors that are helping, and it’s being held in larger areas and it’s really helping us,” Maegan said.
On Nov. 1, she set up a table inside the entrance of Smith’s Food and Drug at 4080 West 9000 South and passed out flyers to the shoppers letting them know about the donation drive. She will be there again on Dec. 5 from 5-8 p.m.
Many shoppers dropped off pet food, kitty litter, toys or cash on their way out the door, and, in return, got a ticket for a prize drawing. There were several prizes to choose from, including gift cards to Amazon, original art and gift baskets -- all provided by her sponsors: Smith’s, Worthen family, Dance by Dee, Chick-Fil-A, Johnny Carinos, Columbia College and Camp Bow Wow. Winners will be notified after Dec. 5.
“In the beginning, I helped a lot,” Maegan’s mom, Melissa Worthen, said. “But now, she pretty much does it all herself. She called businesses and asked for prize donations. She scheduled Smith’s for today and for one day in December. This is all her.”
Melissa Worthen’s mother taught her that you don’t need money to help; you just need time. Melissa said she is passing that lesson on to her own children and has encouraged them to give their time to something they are passionate about.
“Maegan loves animals, and we’ve always volunteered at the animal shelter,” Melissa Worthen said. “Everything she will gather will go directly to the West Jordan shelter.”
“I’ve seen a lot of people who really want to help,” Maegan said. “It’s been really good.”
On the first day of the drive, she collected 54 bags of pet food, 12 toys, three blankets, cat litter and $200 cash. She will continue to gather items until the middle of December, when she will drop it off at the shelter.
“It’s a wonderful effort she undertakes on her own with a little help from her mom,” Animal Services Manager Dan Eatchel said. “She takes to time to gather all these supplies that we use, it’s something we’re very appreciative of.”
“People love animals,” Melissa Worthen said. “We can’t take them all in, so this is a way to help them without taking them all home.”