NewsMetro Detroit News


Michigan 14-year-old helping improve lives of animals across metro Detroit

Posted at 2:16 PM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 00:11:02-04

(WXYZ) — 14-year-old Sidney Bates has always loved animals, but her passion for helping them started six years ago when she got Wishes, Ashley and Aria.

The felines gave the Bates family a better understanding of the hardships homeless cats, and other animals go through.

"We started feeding the animals outside, and we started, we put out a little kitty hotel, so there was a blanket, and some food and some water to eat,” said Bates.

That was the turning point in Bates' philanthropic journey.

The 14-year-old partnered up with All About Animals to neuter or spay rescued cats with the goal of finding them a forever home or releasing them in the wild.

In 2017, Bates dedicated her annual lemonade and cookie stand to raise $170 for homeless cats and dogs.

In a bid to go bigger, the following year, Bates launched ‘For The Love of Pets’ collection drive, raising over $16,000 - of which nearly $6,000 was raised this year alone.

"Every year, I'm getting more friends involved and more sponsors and helping as many animals as possible within the community,” said the young animal lover.

Besides money, the teenager collected hundreds of animal products through her drive and delivered them to All About Animals back in February.

Bates says she thinks people try to understand how vulnerable animals are. Still, the actual realization comes once individuals start working with homeless animals and see firsthand the hardship they go through during the winter.

The 14-year-old's humanitarian side grows every day. Her next endeavor is Hiker Box for the houseless.

"I’m working in conjunction with on your feet Detroit, to put together 50 to 100 backpacks so that we can put in those items in the backpacks and distribute them to the homeless in Detroit specifically,” Bates.

The backpacks will include hoodies, gloves, nonperishable food products, hygiene kits, etc. While the project will roll out in the fall, Bates’ mom Gretchen says her daughter has already positively impacted family and friends.

"I think the love she displays for the world. People talk about wanting to change. My daughter is making it happen,” said the animal lover's mother.

Meanwhile, Bates says she believes that everyone can make a difference regardless of age.

“I realized, if you try to make a difference in the community, then a lot of people in the community are willing to rally with you and help the vulnerable populations or whatever you are working on to trying to make a difference,” said Bates.

To support Bates charitable initiatives visit You can also call 586-879-1745.