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11 Year Old Collects Blankets For Animals

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By Judy Peterson for Mercury News

When asked what he did over summer vacation, Fisher Middle School sixth-grader Henry Tien Shing Keys has a ready answer: He collected blankets and bags of toys to donate to Humane Society Silicon Valley.

Henry also attended basketball camp and went hiking, biking and golfing with his father, but the month of August was activity-free, so he and his mom came up with a project to collect 40 blankets in four weeks and donate them to HSSV.

“It was a way to get me thinking and get me through the entire month,” Henry said. “Otherwise I would have been playing video games and watching TV.”

At 11 years old, Henry is too young to volunteer at the shelter, so this was his way of giving back. “I wanted him to have a summer project, and he loves animals,” mom Vivian Keys said. “I helped, but he managed the whole thing.”

Henry and his mom used electronic media to solicit donations from family members and friends. “We mostly did everything on e-mail,” Keys said. “We belong to the Los Madres parenting group and Freecycle neighborhood groups in Los Gatos and Campbell. We also contacted Facebook friends.””

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