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Kids donate their Christmas gift money to WAIF

The Meier family — Jessy, Lisa and Jeffry — are celebrating Christmas with their menagerie of pets, two dogs, two cats and a turtle. The trio donated one half of their Christmas money, $120,  to WAIF. - Gayle Saran
The Meier family — Jessy, Lisa and Jeffry — are celebrating Christmas with their menagerie of pets, two dogs, two cats and a turtle. The trio donated one half of their Christmas money, $120, to WAIF.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

Three Freeland children played Santa Claus to the cats and dogs at the WAIF shelter in Coupeville recently by giving up some of their Christmas money.

The Meier family, Lisa, 14, Jessy, 11, and Jeffry, 8 donated $120, one half of the money earmarked for their Christmas gifts. Instead, the cash will help brighten the holidays for the cats and dogs waiting for adoption at WAIF.

The children’s grandparents, Judy and Ken Bruneau, had given each of the kids $80 to select their own gifts.

But the trio decided they wanted to help the WAIF animals instead.

The three siblings said helping to care for pets waiting for adoption was more important to them than a few extra gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.

“Sometimes we just play with the new toys for awhile, then forget about them. This is more lasting,” Lisa Meier said.

“We like WAIF because they care for the cats and dogs until they can find homes. They don’t kill them,” she added.

The siblings are being raised by their grandparents.

“I am really pleased with them. They came to the decision by themselves,” said Judy Bruneau.

It’s obvious by the pets in the home they are a family of animal lovers. There’s two dogs, two cats and a turtle that Jessy brought home from a field trip to Seattle’s International District.

“When I OK’d the field trip, I had no idea we would be getting another pet,” Bruneau said. “But I wasn’t surprised.”

“We love animals,” said Jeffry Meier.

The idea for donating this year began with a catalog the family received for the International Heifer Project.

Bruneau said her grandchildren saw it and began talking about donating to a charity that focused on animals. Ultimately they chose WAIF.

“We decided to help animals close to home,” said Jessy Meier.

The three presented their donation recently to WAIF staff during the shelter’s open house earlier this month.

“They are wonderful kids, and their generosity at this age is really wonderful. All of their money will go to directly benefit the animals,” said shelter manager Shari Bibich.

Nearly 90 cats and 46 dogs are waiting for adoption at the WAIF shelters in Coupeville and Oak Harbor. For more information about what animals are available for adoption visit the WAIF Web site at www.waifanimals.org.

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