Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Morton Heights shows up for service project


April 27, 2018

Courtesy Photo/Carmen Connolly Sadie Connolly and Bear sit with all of the donations from the Morton Heights neighborhood. The drive was for Lightshine Canine Rescue, where the Connolly family adopted Bear just over a year ago.

When Sunset Middle School eighth-grader Sadie Connolly had a service project coming up, she knew exactly what she wanted to do, but wasn’t quite sure how well it would work.

She found the inspiration in the family dog, Bear, a white German shepherd mix that was adopted from Lightshine Canine Rescue. The shelter helps pets that have been rescued from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and Bear happened to be at a foster home in Erie.

“We got our dog a little over a year ago,” Sadie said. “He was rescued off of the reservation. I found them on Facebook, and found that they don’t have a lot of resources for the dogs there. So I thought it would be a neat service project to do a drive to help them out.”

“Sadie loves animals, she always has,” Sadie’s mother, Carmen, said. “I just feel like she’s always giving back. She rarely choses to do something for herself, so it wasn’t surprising to me that this is what she wanted to do. She did it all herself, she really took ownership of it.”

Sadie made fliers explaining the drive with a mission statement and reasons behind gathering the donations.

She was concerned that placing them all over town could cause trouble, so she decided to start with just their Morton Heights neighborhood.

She found quickly that supporting animal rescue is something the Morton Heights neighborhood will get behind.

“It was amazing,” Sadie said. “Our neighborhood isn’t super big, but we gave out the fliers to everybody and we got a ton of stuff. It’s amazing how much people respond to helping animals.”

Carmen said the donations started showing up almost immediately, and continued for the entire month that Sadie was collecting them.

“I was completely overwhelmed by the response in just our neighborhood,” Carmen said. “This has touched us so deeply. Sadie has received notes from neighbors that we don’t know, people have stopped just to come say they’re happy to be a part of it.

“Our whole family — my husband, Sadie and myself — we were really touched by our neighborhood’s response. We have to give a big shoutout and thank you to the Morton Heights neighborhood for their generous contributions and support.”

The family took all of the supplies to the foster home in Erie earlier this month.

Sadie is also a member of 4-H and shows dairy and utility goats. Once Bear gets a bit older, he could be part of her 4-H work.

“Going into high school I know there will be more service projects,” Sadie said. “I’d like to help out Lightshine again or any other places like that that need funding.”

Sadie had the following to say to fellow students looking to hold a similar drive.

“My advice would be to find a thing or place that you’re really passionate about,” Sadie said. “I know with this one it was my dog. Then figure out all of the different ways you could get donations or services for it, and go out and do it. It really was amazing how people came out to support this.”


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