OSWEGO, NY â€“ Following a traumatic experience with his own pet and a visit to the Oswego Animal Shelter, Zac Caruso, a sixth grader at Leighton Elementary School in Oswego, was determined to do what he could to support the efforts of the shelter.
On April 1, he began his quest to collect as many returnable bottles and cans as possible to help raise funds for the shelter.
After more than a month of collecting and helping to sort returnable cans and bottles, as well as accepting cash donations, he raised more than $500 for the Oswego Animal Shelter.
According to Zac, the money raised will be used for preparing animals for adoption.
Animal Control Officer Amanda Fleming was appreciative of the donation and praised Zac for his accomplishment.
â€œI think itâ€™s great that Zac was able to raise so much money in such a short time. It always amazes me when young people like Zac place others, including animals, before themselves. Itâ€™s always good to know there are people in the community willing to help out homeless animals in need. The money Zac raised will go towards testing and vaccinating several abandoned kittens we recently got in, as well as helping to cover medical expenses on a dog that was almost starved to death before we received her. All donations that we receive go directly to the animals for routine medical expenses, mainly spaying and neutering, but also for blood work or X-rays, as well as not so routine medical expenses depending on the animalâ€™s injuries,â€ said Fleming.
â€œI was happy to able to help the shelter,â€ said Zac. â€œThey take good care of the animals and help find good homes for them. I enjoyed collecting the cans and knowing that I was going to be able to help the animals that are at the shelter.â€
He added that he still has an account with Can-A-Lot Bottle and Can Return in both Oswego and Fulton so that those wishing to continue to donate their returnable cans and bottles to his can drive for the Oswego Animal Shelter can do so.
â€œYou donâ€™t even have to count your returns.Â Just bring them into either location and let them know that the donation is for the Zacâ€™s Can Drive. Theyâ€™ll count the cans for you and update me on how many cans have been turned in,â€ he said.
For Zac it was another rewarding experience as he continues his charitable efforts.
Last year, Zac, along with his sister Hailey, collected cans to raise money for the food pantry at Catholic Charities of Oswego County.
â€œIt was a lot of work but it was fun. I couldnâ€™t have done it without the support I received from my dad who helped me collect the cans and bottles; my mom, who is always there for me; John DeRousie of Custom Marketing Solutions for helping me get the word out; and Jeanette at Can-A-Lot, who was always nice to me, even when I brought in 1,000 cans at a time!â€ Zac said.
This October Zac will take on another challenging project.
He is looking to raise enough money to provide a â€œChristmas to Rememberâ€ to a needy family in Oswego with small children.
â€œI want to be able to donate everything from a Christmas tree to Christmas dinner, presents for the family, and even a visit from Santa Claus,â€ he said.
â€œIâ€™m very proud of his efforts,â€ said Zacâ€™s mom, Tammy Perras. â€œIt was a very thoughtful project that Zac felt very close to. He loves animals and truly enjoyed every minute he spent collecting cans for the shelter. He is a very kind-hearted young man and Iâ€™m sure heâ€™ll take on his next project with as much enthusiasm as he did this one.â€