Christmas gifts can come from the most unlikely places, even from a little girl who did not intend her gift to be one. This week, 7-year-old Paisley Flora turned what she hoped would be a bag of dog food into a $135 armload of gifts for the Highland County Humane Society Animal Shelter, even though they were not meant to be for Christmas.
And it all happened because of the Greene Countrie Towne Holiday Fest held last weekend in Greenfield, even though the festival was not part of Paisley’s original plan either.
The original plan was pretty simple. Because she had watched other students hold fundraisers, the Buckskin Elementary second-grader decided she wanted to do something nice for someone, too.
“She heard about that and said, ‘I want to raise money for something,’” said Paisley’s mother, South Salem resident Samantha Flora. “She wasn’t sure what organization she wanted to raise money for at first, but she knew she wanted it to be for animals. When she looked around online, she liked what Melissa and Megan were doing with the Highland County Humane Society.”
Originally, Paisley’s plan was to raise enough money to buy a bag of dog food for the Humane Society. But then she found out that her grandmother, Lynn Riggs, was organizing the crafters for the Greene Countrie Towne Holiday Fest. So, Paisley decided to make some crafts from things she already had at home, set up a booth, and sell them at the festival.
She made Christmas tree ornaments, key chains and magnets, and also sold some wheat pennies her grandfather donated for the project. When the festival was over Paisley had sold all but about five of the items it took her around two weeks to craft, mostly for $1 to $3, and raised $135.
“She made a sign for the festival to tell everyone where the money was going,” Samantha said. “When people came up to her booth, she greeted them and told them what she was doing. She’s a very chatty little girl.”
With the money she raised Paisley purchased dog food, cat food, treats, bedding and toys for the animals at the Highland County Humane Society Animal Shelter. She dropped the toys off Tuesday. In return, the animal shelter employees gave her a tour of the facility, let her give the animals treats, and let her give toys to the shelter’s cats.
“I just want to thank the community for supporting us,” Samantha said. “The goal was to get a bag of dog food, and we were able to do that and a lot more.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.