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Girl's good deeds land her in magazine

Olivia Versele featured in American Girl

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POSTED: December 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by Alena Parker/

Olivia Versele, 8, of Hinesville, recently was featured in American Girl magazine for raising $167 for the Liberty County Humane Society.

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Taking a different approach to the old saying, Olivia Versele didn’t use her lemons to make lemonade but instead sold them and made a donation to the Liberty County Humane Society.
But the 8-year-old Hinesville girl never imagined the good deed she did four years ago would land her a spread in the latest edition of American Girl, a national magazine.
Olivia’s mother, Lori, explained how the local humane society told Savannah TV station WSAV about the $167 donation. The Humane Society of the United States picked up the story from the broadcast and highlighted the youngster on its Web site in April.
“Then we get this call from American Girl,” Versele said with a laugh.
The family was thrilled when they got the news Olivia was one of four girls recognized for their efforts in helping others.
“Of course, we were very proud of her,” Lori Versele said. “She’s a very special girl — a very caring girl.”
The third-grader at
First Presbyterian Academy has picked lemons from a tree in her backyard since she can remember. Donating the money was all her idea.
“Well, I thought it would be a good way to help (animals at the humane society) because they don’t have too much there and because I love animals,” said Versele, whose family has five cats and two dogs.
Her compassion has inspired others.
“All of my friends — they were pretty psyched up about it, too,” Versele said.
Last Christmas, Versele and her classmates raised $400 from selling homemade ornaments and donated it to the humane society.
And Versele wants to help out more.
“I was thinking about saving money to open up my own animal shelter,” she said.
For now, Versele plans to collect blankets to help aniemals at the human society get through the winter.
 

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