MIAMI COUNTY — While it may be awhile before she can again enjoy the peanut butter and chocolate dessert, Miami East High School senior Kearsten Kirby helped a local animal rescue one Buckeye candy at a time.
As part of a National Honors Society project, Kirby, 18, of Fletcher, raised $3,060 for the His Hands Extended Sanctuary located near St. Paris.
Kearsten said she combined her love of animals and Buckeyes to sell more than 225 dozens of the homemade — hand-rolled and hand-dipped — desserts for the animal rescue and veterinarian services complex off of Dialton Road. The non-profit sanctuary also provides low-cost spay and neutering, veterinarian services, houses puppy mill rescues as well as abused, neglected and abandoned cats and dogs with hopes of adoption to new homes.
Kirby was able to present the donation to the owner, Tanya Jordan, this week, surprising the shelter with the much needed money.
“Growing up on a farm, I’ve always loved animals and had animals around so I thought this would be a great place to donate,” Kirby said.
She sold Buckeyes with the help of social media as well as set up tables at sporting events at her school. She and her parents, Kenny and Jenni, would also arrange to deliver orders after school several days a week.
“You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate,” she said.
Using her father’s Buckeye recipe, Kearsten, along with friends, family and fellow NHS members, rolled and dipped the desserts for hours on the weekends.
The reward was just as sweet, as Kearsten shed tears of joy knowing the money was going to a cause close to her heart.
“I’m just so excited to give her (owner Tanya Jordan) the check,” Kirby said, wiping tears from her eyes.
Jordan said the donation couldn’t have came at a better time to help the more than 200 dogs and cats the shelter houses on 32 acres in Champaign County.
“It was totally and absolutely unexpected and it’s a wonderful blessing this time of year,” Jordan said. “This is really going to be very helpful to continue our mission of saving animals and we are grateful.”
Jordan shared that she was stunned the funds were raised through what she called, “the most spectacular bake sale in the entire world.”
“It’s just fabulous having the community support and to see the followers on Facebook see what we do, support us and have the same love for the animals — it’s an absolute blessing,” Jordan said.
Miami East High School business teacher and NHS adviser Cyndi Sroufe said the chapter encourages senior members to execute their own service project that is personal to them.
“Kearsten loves animals and decided to spend time making and selling Buckeyes to benefit His Hands Extended Sanctuary,” Sroufe said. “Kearsten has a heart of gold, and I love everything that she and her family and friends have done to help with this project. The leadership that has been shown through this and other senior service projects this year has been amazing.”
The Miami East High School’s National Honors Society has 18 seniors and 23 junior members. Students must have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA and show good leadership and character, as well as perform service activities in the community.
For more information or to donate to the animal sanctuary, search on Facebook or visit https://hhesclinic.wixsite.com/animal-sanctuary.