MERCER – Landon Chapin is working hard to fulfill his Christmas wish, which will make the holidays a little happier for lots of rescue animals.
“Cats and dogs should have presents,” he said.
The 6-year-old kindergarten student at Mercer Elementary School is collecting donations for “Landon’s Christmas Pet Drive 2019” – a project that is a spinoff of his lemonade stand success.
Landon and his family started volunteering at Club Pet in Delaware Township in March 2018; they still help at the rescue and adoption agency.
“I usually hand out food to the cats,” he said, adding that he loves playing with the animals.
He has been raising money for the rescue through a lemonade stand that he typically sets up at fundraisers, and this year he got to thinking about the cats and dogs that won’t have a home for the holidays.
Gifting them with new toys, beds, treats, food and other supplies is his way of helping as many animals as possible. His family is very proud of him; his parents are Jessica and Richard, and he has a stepsister Katelyn.
“He has a really big heart. He really wants to save every animal and bring them home,” Mrs. Chapin said.
On a recent evening at the family’s East Lackawannock Township home, Landon was surrounded by the large pile of donations he’s received so far, including a giant dog bed big enough for him to sit on comfortably.
He also played with his collection of Hot Wheels and the family’s newest pet, a dog named Annie, who joins cats Sydney, Walker and Spring.
Landon’s pet drive is accepting donations of cat and dog toys, food and bowls, blankets, beds and treats through Dec. 20 at these drop-off locations: Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce, 143 N. Diamond St., Mercer; The Lakes at Jefferson, 7271 W. Market St., Jefferson Township; Elite EMS, 3625 E. State St., Hermitage; Breakfast At Tiffany’s, 45 S. Walnut St., Sharpsville; Dutch Lane Kennel, 665 Coolspring Church Road, Coolspring Township; and Mercer Elementary School, 301 Lamor Road, Mercer.
The donations will go to the Humane Society of Mercer County and Club Pet, and maybe a few other rescues, Mrs. Chapin said.
Landon is excited to play Santa Claus for the cats and dogs, and he looks forward to making more new friends – human and animal.
He will also be raising money for the Humane Society through his lemonade stand and bake sale during a Humane Society basket raffle set for noon to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the pavilion at Reynolds VFW Post 7399, 115 Edgewood Drive, Pymatuning Township.
Landon has raised more than $5,000 through his lemonade stand, and his efforts have also helped All Paws Matter and K9s In Need, Mrs. Chapin said.
Landon said his lemonade is tasty, and all of the baked goods are homemade. Friends and relatives donate the goodies, and he especially loves cookies with M&M’s.
Donors can also send monetary contributions through PayPal; those funds will be used to buy more pet supplies and Christmas stockings. The email address for PayPal payments is: Landonpetdrive2019@gmail.com
The Chapin family thanked everyone who helped Landon help the animals. That includes residents from The Lakes at Jefferson who made blankets, and the people who agreed to host drop-off bins.
He is setting a great example for people of all ages, Chapin said.
Landon has even been selected as the chamber’s “honorary elf” for the Dec. 6 Christmas on the Square event, which starts at 6 p.m. He’ll be lighting the Christmas tree.
He hopes that all of the cats and dogs find their forever homes soon, and he plans to continue helping others – he’d like to work as a firefighter who owns an animal shelter.
FOR more information, visit “Landon’s Christmas Pet Drive 2019” on Facebook.