Attention Readers: Find Us in Your Mailbox Soon
With the coronavirus stats going in the right direction, all of us at C&G Newspapers look forward to resuming publication of the St. Clair Shores Sentinel and Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle on May 27th. All other C&G newspapers will begin publishing on June 10th (Advertiser-Times on June 24th). In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter.
 Sidney Bates, 12, of Harrison Township, gathers donated items in 2019 during her For the Love of Pets drive for homeless animals.

Sidney Bates, 12, of Harrison Township, gathers donated items in 2019 during her For the Love of Pets drive for homeless animals.

Photo provided by Gretchen Bates


Local girl raises money, items for homeless animals

By: Nick Mordowanec | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published February 13, 2020

 Sidney Bates packs the family vehicle for a trip to drop off donations.

Sidney Bates packs the family vehicle for a trip to drop off donations.

Photo provided by Gretchen Bates

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Sidney Bates is “reaching up toward the sky” in her efforts to raise donations and miscellaneous items for homeless animals.

It all began in the winter of 2016. Bates, 12, of Harrison Township, recalled seeing a cat outside her home that kept returning and eating food offered to it. She named it Sausage. Bates noticed that Sausage became disheveled and lost weight. The cat was clever, escaping traps when Bates and her family attempted to catch and neuter it.

Later, that same cat had a baby they named Egg.

“I didn’t want any kitty cats having any trouble in the winter, or freezing in the cold,” Bates said, acknowledging her urge to reduce feral cats in the community.

The ordeal prompted the L’Anse Creuse Central Middle School seventh grader to start her own lemonade and cookie stand on South River Road in the summer of 2017. An owner of three cats herself, Bates raised more than $170 in about five hours.

In February 2018, she parlayed her success into a new effort called For the Love of Pets. She does karate, so she raised donations at Romanelli’s International Martial Arts dojo, in Clinton Township. Other locations included L’Anse Creuse Central, L’Anse Creuse High School and South River Elementary. She collected kitty litter, cans of food and cash. Kroger, located on Crocker Boulevard, south of Metropolitan Parkway, became a corporate sponsor.

In February 2019, she collected 315 new and gently used towels, food, toys and more. Bates attributed the success to the publicity she received from a local TV station. Students at L’Anse Creuse High School helped her cause.

“I feel like I have made an impact,” Bates said. “I want to see a difference in people’s and animals’ lives.”

This year, her goal is to collect and supply over $2,400 worth of goods that include toys, canned food, litter and other supplies.

Sidney’s mother, Gretchen, said her daughter is “young and mighty,” possessing a “passionate heart” that involves not waiting for others to help. She took the initiative herself on a grassroots level.

“We try to instill love of community and giving back to our kids,” Gretchen Bates said. “This is how it’s blossoming as she’s getting older. She really values helping other people. … I’m super proud of her. I’m just really impressed, and we’re able to carry these values into our children.”

Sidney said there’s little better than giving back.

“If you want to make an impact, you just have to do it yourself,” she said.

All donations are delivered to All About Animals, 23451 Pinewood St. in Warren. The nonprofit helps homeless animals find a “forever home.”

Local schools will host their own drives due to being unable to accept outside donations.

Donations and/or checks will be accepted between Feb. 14 and 25 at Kroger, Romanelli’s, the Harrison Township Public Library and All About Animals.

For more information, contact All About Animals at (586) 879-1745 or visit www.allaboutanimalsrescue.org.