Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters in Cumming recently unveiled a new volunteer service van, which features on the side a photo of the late Sara Edge, a former volunteer and up-and-coming racecar driver.
Furkids Founder and CEO Samantha Shelton said that Sara first started volunteering with Furkids while she was only a teenager, finding time after school to visit the shelter to take the animals on walks and help other volunteers clean up.
She found the volunteer gig through her high school in Roswell, showing up at the shelter for the first time for a service day, and she fell in love almost immediately.
She even adopted one of the dogs she met while she was volunteering there. She named him Obi and brought him home to meet her other three dogs, Oliver, Wilson and Brady.
She continued volunteering even after she graduated, making room for Furkids in her life while also trying to balance time with work, friends and family. Sara loved volunteering and helping to take care of the animals at Furkids, and she loved her family even more.
On Sept. 11, 2019, friends and family were shocked and devastated when Sara unexpectedly died in a car crash when she was only 20 years old.
“Her family wanted to honor her life by requesting donations to Furkids in her memory,” Shelton said. “And the outpouring of support was so overwhelming. It was so amazing and truly incredible how she touched the community and the lives of her family and friends.”
Furkids received so many donations from Sara’s loved ones that they realized they would be replace their dog shelter van, which was currently undriveable. Shelton said that she spoke with Sara’s father about using the funds to buy the van and use it as a way to honor Sara’s memory.
They ended up buying the van at the end of last year and planned to finish the design on the side this year. While the design was delayed during the pandemic, Shelton said that they were finally able to unveil the van to Sara’s family this week.
“Our hope is that it brings some comfort to her friends and family to know that their gifts are allowing us to save the animals that she loved so much,” Shelton said. “And just to keep her memory alive.”
Now as residents go about their daily lives, driving through Forsyth County, they may be able to catch a glimpse of Sara smiling on the side of the new van alongside her pup, Obi.