Paws Changing Lives


Paws For A Cause is as meaningful to the students of Copper Hills as it is for those the donations reach. For the whole month of December, we are given the chance to donate all the money we can. This money goes to those that can’t afford a Christmas, or anyone that needs the funds in our community for necessities. 

In the past two years, doing Paws For A Cause was difficult, especially in the midst of COVID-19. We were in and out of quarantine, not knowing when we were going to be back. December was a challenge for everyone; all the clubs had to figure out how to overcome unseen challenges to provide funds so they could be donated. The 2020-2021 class were uneased they wouldn’t get a graduation. The whole year was filled with misfortune.

As we start off our 2021-2022 school year, not only were we welcomed back with less COVID-19 restrictions, but the whole school has seemed more alive. Although we have had our issues with multiple variants, we have been able to come out stronger. 

A story to highlight is Mathias Hernandez, a seven year old who donated his money in his piggy bank for Paws For A Cause. Hernandez featured in the opening of the Paws for a Cause assembly for his charitable act. “Paws For A Cause was great for us, we were happy to help with what we could. We have been in that situation when we needed help,” Maria Hernandez, Mathias’s mom said. “My son Mathias till this day talks about going to Copper Hills and how much he enjoyed going.”

            With a total of $87,513.13, a was a record-breaking amount raised for Copper Hills. The school got extra effort from all clubs, and received multiple donations, including from Sunset Ridge Middle School, members of the student body, current and former. What seemed to be impossible became possible. With a heart of a grizzly, every cent donated came from the heart, with hopes of helping the people around us. 

              A specific donation was to nine-year old Jameson Washburn. “He was diagnosed with a complete obstruction of Posterior Urethral Valves at [when I was] 18 weeks pregnant,” Natalie Washburn, Jameson’s mom said. She shared how Paws For a Cause has helped her family overcome this hardship. Washburn continues, “I believe it has given Jameson something to hope for and look forward to.” That is what having a heart of a grizzly is about. “He has been teased a lot growing up for being small and having issues with his kidneys and bladder. It has helped him with his confidence.” 

  When Jameson came to the school for our end of the year assembly before winter break, we were able to see the gleam on his face, and how much he enjoyed being a part of the Grizzlies. The school spoiled him with both Christmas and birthday gifts, and even sang the Happy Birthday song as it fell on the same day of the closing assembly. “He talks about Copper Hills all the time,” Washburn says, “Jameson tells family and his friends what Copper Hills Grizzlies did for him and how spoiled he was on his birthday.” 

No words can describe the feeling you get when you do something life changing or life saving. Paws is unique because it allows donors to do both. The cases that we don’t know, the people we have helped that we haven’t met, are countless. We never know when we will be the ones that need others’ help, so let’s start by helping each other. Take every opportunity that comes your way to make a change, in your life, in someone else’s life, or a change in the world for better. It can start by a small charitable act.