When seventh grader Katharine Weiskotten visited the Animal Protective Foundation, or APF, in Scotia last year, it was more than a trip to the shelter for her. The experience struck a cord with Katharine, who adopted two cats that day.
She took note of every detail in the shelter and said she was impressed with the organization and felt in her heart she could help.
That opportunity came about through GE's Imagine the Impact, How Can I Make a Difference in My Community contest.
Katharine, a student from Central Park Middle School, won $500 for writing an essay about how she would spend the money to help the shelter.
"I have always loved animals and have always wanted to do something to help improve their lives. When GE presented me with this opportunity, I knew I had to write a great essay and follow through on what I wanted to do with the prize," said Katharine.
In her prize-winning essay, she talked about what she would do with the $500.
"If I had a budget of $500, I would purchase five Kuranda dog beds ($260), pet food, toys, and supplies ($140) and plants ($100) to beautify the garden.
Helping this organization would have a lasting impact on the community because pets would have better lives to enjoy, and they would have toys, food, and beds for a long time. Helping this shelter would mean a lot to me. I hope my essay is chosen to help my community in this way. It would mean a lot to both animals and people," Katharine wrote.
Marguerite Pearson, APF director of outreach and communications, said Katharine used the money from GE to purchase food supplies, dog beds, as well as perennial plants for the shelter's memory garden, a favorite of Katharine's.
"She came down recently and took time out of her summer, along with her sister, dad and a friend, and planted some beautiful flowers. It helps to bring more life to a place that serves as a tribute to beloved pets and people," said Pearson.