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Austin Edwards is only ten years old, but he is already committed to making a difference in the community. Austin attends Inland Leaders Charter School and as part of his service project requirement, he decided to raise funds for Yucaipa Animal Placement Society through an ongoing series of donations from his car races in 2014.  Falling in love with the YAPS Center and the homeless pets it serves Austin’s service project has quickly become an ongoing passion that is well into its second year. 


He developed a wonderful business model that he has implemented to raise the funds at the many racing venues he visits in a season. Quick Paws for YAPS is his program and his ongoing efforts have raised well over $6,500 for the animals at YAPS.  Before every race Austin can be found greeting fans and selling the paw stickers to the attendees with all the proceeds raised from the paws going directly for YAPS.  The fans can purchase the stickers for $5 and decorate them to their liking and then they are placed on Austin’s race car for the duration of the racing season.

“Austin’s is such an amazing kid!  His enthusiasm for our cause is inspiring,” said YAPS Executive Director, Nicole Laffey.  “YAPS is fortunate to have his ongoing support.  Not only is he proactive about generating funds for our pets, he also enjoys being hands on at the Center helping out every week.”

Austin races #18 in Southwest Tour truck Series and also races Bandolero Bandits, driving upwards of 70 mph at tracks all throughout the region, from the Orange Show Speedway to Las Vegas and everywhere in between.  Austin is quite the driver consistently on the podium, which allows for yet another means for the young driver to raise awareness for pets every time he speaks. 

“I’m really into dogs and cats and that’s why I chose to raise the money,” said Austin. “Plus I try to use my allowance to bring in blankets, toys and treats for the animals. I love the pets at YAPS and I am going to keep helping.”

Austin is currently seeking sponsors for the 2015-2016 racing season. A portion of the sponsorship goes to the YAPS Center and the rest goes towards Austin’s racing expenses and keeping him on the track to continue raising awareness for homeless pets. Those interested in helping this up and coming young driver can contact Austin’s proud parents, Tony and Heidi Edwards at (909)771-9247.   

Earlyact Club Inspires Donation to Homeless Pets at YAPS

The 4th Grade Earlyact Club (sponsored by Yucaipa Rotary) at Wildwood Elementary started the 2019/2020 school year off strong by making a commitment to finish a project that began at the beginning of 2019. Earlyact was presented with an opportunity to select a nonprofit and take on a project from beginning to end. Through an endowment fund ear-marked for charity, a teacher at Wildwood Elementary would be able to match the funds raised.

Nonprofits were invited to present ideas to the Earlyact Club at the beginning of 2019. We understand that it was a tough decision for the students but in the end YAPS was selected and they chose “Project Fluffy” as the name. Students came to YAPS to tour the Holding Area and see exactly how they could help and what they were working towards. The Holding Area is where dogs spend 10-14 days after being rescued from local shelters before they are available for adoption.

The students sold crochet blankets and scarves made by a local citizen. They sold handmade dog/cat toys, dog/cat treats, posters and greeting cards at the school "Paw Shop," The Yucaipa Music and Arts Festival and at the Rotary Cash Draw Fundraising Dinner. They each personally raised a minimum of $25 on their own as well.

In May the students and their advisors came to deliver their donation to YAPS. They raised $2,500.00 on their own and received the matching donating for a total of $5,000.00. The students chose to have their donation go towards the “Sponsor a Kennel” Program at YAPS. These funds will be used to purchase at least 4 new 5’Wx10’L new, powder coated kennels for the YAPS Holding Area. 

The Earlyact Club is now working on two hand painted benches that will be placed in the large play yard at YAPS. This will create additional seating for potential adopters during dog meetings and for volunteers while they socialize with the dogs.

YAPS’ sincerely thanks the students and all who helped them make a significant difference for the homeless pets. The students have become the teacher’s by being an example of compassion to our community. They have inspired everyone at YAPS to save more lives.





Pets Placed in 2019


Animals Placed this Year



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Earlyact Club Inspires Donation to Homel…

Earlyact Club Inspires Donation to Homeless Pets at YAPS

Earlyact Club Inspires Donation to Homeless Pets at YAPS The 4th Grade Earlyact Club (sponsored by Yucaipa Rotary) at Wildwood Elementary started the 2019/2020 school year...

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