In the middle of a chilly Kansas winter, one animal-loving mom decided to transform items that would normally end up in a landfill into warm, cozy homes for feral and homeless cats.
Stephanie Lindquist-Johnson of Roeland Park got started by posting on Nextdoor. She asked her community to donate any foam coolers they had sitting around, and the response was overwhelmingly positive!
Stephanie is a web designer by trade, but in her free time, she and her almost 6-year-old son, Phillip Johnson, volunteer at Another Chance Cat Rescue in Waldo. Both of them adore animals, so when they found out feral cats were in danger of freezing in the cold winter months, they came up with a unique solution. They just needed some unwanted foam coolers like the ones that are used to ship food and other perishables.
“The response was incredible,” Stephanie said. Within hours of posting online, dozens of strangers were dropping off coolers at her house. Meanwhile, people who didn’t have coolers just gave her cash to help with the project.
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She and Phillip immediately got to work transforming the coolers into weather-proof condos for “anything with four paws.”
The mother-son team cut portholes into each cooler and tightly wrap them in heavy-duty plastic trash bags. The houses are then stuffed full of hay, providing a safe, comfortable sleeping space for cats, raccoons, or anything else that might need shelter from the cold.
Each house takes about an hour to make, and the process has become a fun activity for both Stephanie and Phillip. The best part is, they donate each and every one to local shelters free of charge. Since they started the project in December, they have donated 44 insulated homes!
Stephanie loves recycling and repurposing the coolers and hopes people will continue to donate them. Regardless, she and her son have no intention of slowing down their efforts until every feral or homeless cat in their area has a warm place to sleep!
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