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Vegas Stronger Champion: Local teen donates business proceeds to animal shelter

Shelby Dela Cruz
A young Shelby with her snake friend
Posted at 3:56 AM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 06:38:50-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Reading to shelter pets at the Animal Foundation is how Shelby Dela Cruz spends a lot of her free time.

“I really admire what they’re doing for homeless animals,” Shelby said. “Since I was a kid, my mom was telling me about the Animal Foundation.”

In mid-May, Shelby paid a visit to the Animal Foundation to present a $350 check to the shelter. Shelby’s donation comes from the proceeds of her jewelry business, Jeweled by Shelby.

“People really like my jade and sakura set,” Shelby said while winding gold wire around a pink jewel.

Jeweled by Shelby was originally a student council project at West Career and Technical Academy, a magnet school in the Clark County School District. The project was assigned during the pandemic.

“My teacher said, ‘Be creative and do something that you like,'" Shelby said.

During lockdown, the Animal Foundation suspended volunteer programs, and Shelby couldn’t enter the facility. Yet she still wanted to help animals, and she found a way through her craft.

“I was like, ‘Wait, I can sell these and then donate the proceeds,'" she said.

Shelby wants to study medicine for genetic diseases and pursue a career in biotechnology. Until then, she hopes her jewelry business grows into a non-profit so that she can donate a larger percentage of her proceeds to the shelter.

“I’m just really grateful to my community,” Shelby said. “I wasn’t expecting my business to blow up as much, but I actually had customers that weren’t my family, which made me really happy.”

After presenting her check, Shelby received a check of her own from Findlay Automotive Group, recognizing her as June’s Vegas Stronger Champion.