Youth donates cat tree, funds after F7 fire in Shawnee
Big things come in small packages, as the saying goes. And sometimes big things are simply too big to come in a package at all. One of each was recently delivered to a local nonprofit that has had a rough time of it lately.
A month ago F7 Work Activity Center, at 301 S. Kennedy, encountered a fire that immediately suspended operations at the recycling center; F7 has had to relocate temporarily.
After such a devastating blow, 10-year-old Rayanna Cramer wasn't sure what to do, but figured out a way to bring some good to the situation.
“She set up and managed a GoFundMe page and watched it every day,” her mother, Kristina Maltos, said.
“I wanted to help a lot of people because of the burned building,” Rayanna said.
After about three weeks of fundraising, Rayanna gathered the $170 she collected for two specific donations — first was a brand new cat tree for F7's resident kitty.
“Rayanna was so worried about Huckleberry, the cat,” F7 Work Activity Center's Mary Wisdom said. “She is a lover of all animals.”
Wisdom knows Rayanna well; she's her granddaughter.
Huckleberry has had to endure quite a period of upheaval over the past month.
When the fire began, he was inside — after all, it was his home.
“He obviously escaped when the building was opened up to fight the fire,” Wisdom said.
Though she initially couldn't find him, she was able to track him down a coupe hours later in the woods nearby.
“He had a horrible cough,” she said.
Aside from his medical scare, temporary lodging had to be found for Huckleberry until a new site was secured.
Rayanna's second gift was a $100 check for F7 to use however it needed.
With the nonprofit working to quickly set up shop in a new location, Maltos said F7 was walking into a new place blind, not knowing what to expect.
“We were torn about whether they needed cleaning supplies or maybe something else, like face masks, toilet paper or paper towels,” she said. “We left it up to them to decide.”
The gesture was much appreciated.
“Rayanna provided F7 with a wonderful contribution in our very difficult time of need,” Wisdom said.
When Rayanna isn't busy doing good deeds and looking out for others, Wisdom said she is a super star artist, an outstanding academic student and she loves to cook.
At the new temporary site of operations — the older United Dynamics building on Wolverine Road — F7 clients are now able to continue those recycling functions that don't require machinery; the nonprofit's tractor, forklift and a cardboard-processing machine were all damaged in the blaze that burned down an outbuilding and then made its way to the main warehouse.
Also, Maltos confirmed Huckleberry is now back to being the resident feline; he moved to the new location last week.
In the community since 1963, F7 Work Activity Center offers a two-fold purpose while serving the Shawnee area: offering purpose in the lives of its adult clients — those overcoming delayed or limited development — and providing a much-valued service to local businesses and residents. Through the center, employees are able to hold down paying jobs in a safe, monitored and relaxed setting. Much of what the clients do centers around recycling paper goods. At full force, the center employs 32 clients.
Anyone wishing to help in any way can contact F7 through its Facebook page or by email, at Mary.Wisdom@F7wac.org.