By Tammy Ljungblad, The KansasCity Star 15 hrs agoInDecember, Stephanie Lindquist-Johnson of Roeland Park, Kan., placed a post onNextdoor, a neighborhood social media site, seeking unwanted foam coolers, thetype often used to ship steaks or holiday hams.
StephanieLindquist-Johnson and her son, Phillip Johnson, almost 6, of Roeland Park, havebeen making shelters for feral cats out of styrofoam coolers donated to herafter she placed a post on Next Door, a neighborhood social media site. Theshelters have beed donated back to people in the community looking to houseoutdoor cats, racoons or opossums from the frigid winter weather."Theresponse was incredible," said Lindquist-Johnson, 43, a web designer forWaddell & Reed, an asset management company in Overland Park. People fromaround northeast Johnson County were soon dropping off coolers at her house.
StephanieLindquist-Johnson and her son, Phillip Johnson, almost 6, have been makingshelters for feral cats out of styrofoam coolers donated to her after she placeda post on Next Door, a neighborhood social media site. The shelters, seen herestacked to the ceiling in her Roeland Park home, have beed donated back topeople in the community looking to house outdoor cats, racoons or opossums fromthe frigid winter weather.
Then, with her son's help, Lindquist-Johnson turns them intoshelters for feral cats - or "anything with four paws.""I feelso sorry for all the animals out there. It's been so cold,"Lindquist-Johnson said.
Phillip Johnson, a soon-to-be 6-year-old, is a kindergartener atSt. Agnes Catholic School who loves animals. She and her son volunteer atAnother Chance Cat Rescue in Waldo.
"He's dying to go back to the cat rescue and help,"Lindquist-Johnson said.To make the shelters, Lindquist-Johnson glues the piecesof the coolers together and cuts out portholes. After the glue dries, thecoolers are tightly covered in heavy-duty, plastic black trash bags securedwith duct tape. The house is then stuffed with straw or hay. The whole processtakes about an hour per house.
"I'm kind of addicted to making them and we're having funwith it," she said. "I'll keep making them as long as I don't go intoterrible debt."A couple of people who read the Next Door posts havedonated cash to the cause. "One person donated $40 and another $50,"Lindquist-Johnson said.After creating 33 feral cat houses, Lindquist-Johnsonposted a photo of her and her son on Nextdoor and offered them for free. Nearlyall of the shelters have been donated back to people in the community who willuse them for cats, raccoons and even opossums.There were many positive commentsfrom neighbors about her efforts, including one from Natosha Halling of UpperFairway, who commented, "Stephanie = A cat's best friend!"
Jose Ramirez of Crestview wrote: "Atta girl!!! Great andwonderful contribution to nature. You have a good heart. The world needs morelike you. You are wonderful and kind.Lindquist-Johnson hopes people willcontinue donating their foam coolers, which aren't picked up by curbside recycling.JenniferFranken of Roeland Park commented, "Love this! Love that animals are beinghelped and the landfills aren't being filled with Styrofoam!"