High school senior donating her Christmas, birthday presents to animal shelters since fifth grade

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A high school senior, whose birthday is Christmas, has been donating her holiday gifts since the fifth grade. 

Each year, Karleigh Wayne chooses a different, local animal shelter to help out.

“We had a Doberman as our dog and he was so good,” said Wayne, who lives in Camp Hill and goes to Cedar Cliff High School. “He was so kind.”

That Doberman named Rage blossomed Wayne’s love for animals. 

Even as a kid, she wanted to help them all she could.

“She just came to me and said, ‘hey mom. I feel like I’m blessed and I have everything I want. Why don’t we try donating my Christmas?” said Lisa Kuzmiak, Wayne’s mom.

“It just felt so much better to give up my Christmas than to get things,” said Wayne. “It was so rewarding.”

Wayne has been donating her Christmas to local, non profit, no kill animal shelters since the fifth grade. 

Something that began as re-directing presents from family and friends became an entire community drive, gathering hundreds of dollars and a truck full of gifts each year.

Kuzmiak owns Epic Salon in Lemoyne, and customers are excited to participate.

“Word just kind of spread and more and more customers asked about it,” said Kuzmiak. 

This year, the Wayne’s charity of choice is The Scratching Post Cat CafĂ© in Lewisburg.

“People can come in and hangout with the animals and get to know them on an intimate level before you take them home,” said Wayne.

When you go into the Epic Salon, you can pick an ornament off the Christmas tree and find out what the rescue alliance needs.

Wayne hopes to use her passion for animals to study marine biology next year. She made the honors program and has been offered the President’s Scholarship at her first choice school: Coastal Carolina University.

“I always knew I had a special daughter when she was born on Christmas Day,” said Kuzmiak. “If anything, she has taught me a lot.”

“If you can be kind, then you can really be anything,” said Wayne. “Kindness can be the one thing that can change anyone’s lives around you.”

If you are interested in donating, call the Epic Salon: 717-303-0405.

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