LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The courage that one student has shown at Anderson Elementary is setting the pace for her fellow classmates. Yamileth Gonzalez's Furry Friends campaign has started a trend in and out the classroom.
Gonzalez is making it her duty to keep dogs off the road and healthy during their stay in shelters. In fact, she encouraged all the students at Anderson Elementary to donate pet supplies.
"I can't stand animals in pounds or in roads anymore because it's heartbreaking to me, and it hurts me a lot," Gonzalez said when asked why this campaign was so important to her.
The students have been collecting cat litter, dog food, toys, and treats.
Yamileth says after her family took in their stray dog, Cocoa, she then knew animals without a home needed love, too.
She told her P.E. teacher her idea and started working on it.
Yamileth's work effort was no surprise to Aby Goff, her teacher, she said. Yamileth has always been courageous and caring.
"She's always had the biggest heart. She's always helpful in class and if she sees a kid struggling she takes it upon herself to help that kid," Aby Goff said.
Goff said this idea has even helped with boosting students' confidence.
"I see a lot of kids taking pride," Goff said. "They're walking in with that big bag of dog food and their excited to contribute."
The students' contribution has the employees at the Winnie Berry Humane Society thankful for their hard work.
Their bookkeeper Christina Carter, said, "You know for a child's birthday party, they want to make donations, but never an entire school, so this means the world to us."
When Carter got word that a 5th grader was in charge of the movement, she was astonished.
"I think it's amazing that a fifth grader to have the creative mind to say I want to do this and start something in an entire school," Carter said.
With all the recognition that Yamileth is receiving, she said making her parents proud is what motivates her the most.
"I'm my dad's princess, so he's so proud of me that he can brag on me because I've done this project," Gonzalez said.