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State Honoree

Lando Aldridge

Alabaster, Alabama

Lando Aldridge, 9, of Alabaster, Alabama, a fifth-grader at Thompson Intermediate School, raised more than $4,500 by sewing and selling fleece hats to raise money in support of homeless cats and other animals at two shelters. “I love all animals, but especially cats,” explained Lando. While visiting his aunt in Texas, he asked why she had so many kittens, and was told that they were foster cats. “I thought how sad it was that so many kitties didn’t have homes,” said Lando, “and wondered who paid for all their food and trips to the vet.” Since he was already sewing presents for the following Christmas, Lando decided to sew hats as well, and sell them “to help the kitties.”

With assistance from his mother, Lando bought lots of fleece, and created a website and Facebook page about his “Hats for Cats” project. “After that, I just sewed and sewed,” he said. As he finished his hats, Lando sold them at his school and church, through his website, and at animal-adoption events. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Lando began sewing face masks for local healthcare workers and first responders, and sold some to generate even more money for animals, bringing the total amount he has raised for his cause to more than $4,500.