Local Pizza Hut waitress Donna Kay Kerecz is known throughout the community for her sweet talking and soft smile with which she greets all of her customers. This week, Kerecz embarked on a personal fundraiser, donating two-days of tips to Sierra’s Haven — totaling $504.25.
Kerecz has been at the local Pizza Hut for 20 years and has won awards for her job in waitressing and was a called a “Hometown Hero” for her work with the Pizza Hut reading program, Book It. Kerecz said she takes Book It very seriously.
“I’m dyslexic and I was made fun of often as a child. I want no child to go through that,” Kerecz said. “So, when kids come in, I praise them as much as I can. I ask them what they did and what they like to read. I also give them a medal and a pack of Reese Cups. A lot of kids will come in excited, calling me Nana, and asking for Reese Cups, because they said they’ve read books.”
Earlier this month, Sierra’s Haven animal shelter announced that for the first time in seven years, they are experiencing a financial crisis. Kerecz helped by donating all tips she made Wednesday and Thursday directly to support Sierra’s Haven. Wednesday Kerecz brought in $220 in tips and Thursday she brought in $285.25, totaling $504.25 in donations for the local no-kill animal shelter.
Kerecz said that this is not the first time she has donated her tips to a cause, because she said that she believes in helping when she can.
“I love animals with every ounce of my being. I’m a vegan and I eat nothing with a face. Do no harm and cause no harm,” Kerecz said. “They’re (Sierra’s Haven) having a really rough time this year because more dogs and cats are homeless in this weather. If I can do just a little bit to help and then everyone else does a little bit, then we can really do a lot of good. I think they are definitely needed and one of the best organizations in the area.”
Kerecz also urges people to go to Sierra’s Haven and make donations independently of her.
“Anything you can do for Sierra’s Haven helps. You can donate time, five or 10 dollars or even get in the habit of buying an extra bag of dog food here and there for the shelter. They need all sorts of things; you’d be surprised at the small things you can donate and make a difference.”
Dr. Gail Counts, of Sierra’s Haven, said the shelter’s 10th annual Pot Of Luck Celebration will be March 15, and is the shelters biggest fundraiser of the year. Sierra’s Haven has established multiple other ways to make donations — visit sierrashaven.org and click donations where a PayPal account has been established. The shelter is located at 80 Easter drive, Portsmouth, OH 45662, where donations can also be mailed or dropped-off.
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287 or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.