Good News Sunday: 'Community effort' helps DuPage County roosters find new homes

Good News Sunday: 'Community effort' helps DuPage County roosters find new homes

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald:

The roosters at DuPage County Animal Services keep flying the coop.

Earlier this month, animal services workers put out a plea for 29 roosters in their care. On April 21, only 19 remained to be adopted. By Monday - the original deadline for adoption - only 10 remained at animal services, and two of the 10 were on hold for potential adopters.

"It's really heartwarming," said Laura Flamion, operations manager for DuPage County Animal Services. "It's nice to see people come together and advocate to find placement for the birds."

The roosters were among 80 birds, including roosters, hens and pigeons, placed in the care of animal services in March following an animal welfare complaint involving a dog. The agency took to social media to attempt to find homes for them before its initial deadline.

"It's really been a community effort," Flamion said.

Flamion said the agency saw a surge of activity over the weekend, and volunteers even took some roosters on a drive to meet up with an approved adopter. In one instance, a volunteer drove to Rockford to get roosters named Angel and Jeff to a volunteer from a sanctuary in Wisconsin. Another rooster made the trip to his new home in Indiana thanks to three volunteers who each took a leg of the trip.

For the full story, click here.

Although she didn't place in the top 12 on "American Idol," Kaeyra, who is from Algonquin, said she is thankful for the experience and looking forward to exploring opportunities to grow her music career. Courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless

Algonquin native grateful for appearance on 'American Idol'

The Algonquin native who competed on "American Idol" isn't sure what will come next for her and her music career, but she knows her experience on the singing competition will play a part.

Though she didn't get a spot in the Top 12, Caroline Baran, who became known as Kaeyra to fans across the country, did get high marks from Katy Perry, who gave Kaeyra an A+ for her performances on April 23 and Monday.

"It was an amazing experience," the 21-year-old Huntley High School alum said Tuesday during a phone interview. "I'm so glad I did it. I'm sad it's over, obviously. But I'm really thankful for the people I met."

Before auditioning for "American Idol," Kaeyra was singing at Mastro's Restaurant in Chicago. She also performed at festivals, including Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza, and sang the national anthem for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls.

She plans to continue to pursue her music career and hopes to release some songs and do more shows.

"I feel like a lot of doors have opened," she said. "I feel like there's so many different options that I'm looking forward to exploring ... and that's why I'm grateful."

For the full story, click here.

William Fremd High School student Ruby Arun of Inverness, founder of Mission: MathMinds, collected 8,000 books to be donated to Ukrainian refugee children.

Suburban teen ships 8,000 books to Ukrainian refugees

Thousands of books heading to Ukrainian refugee children were given a hopeful send-off last week at Kumon Math and Reading Center in Rolling Meadows.

It was a textbook example of volunteerism, as the 8,000 books worth more than $100,000 were gathered as a result of the efforts of Mission: MathMinds, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring girls to achieve in STEM fields.

It was founded three years ago by Ruby Arun, a 16-year-old William Fremd High School student from Inverness, and has since mobilized more than 300 student volunteers.

The books will find their way to refugee camps, thanks to Libraries Without Borders, as well as schools founded by Ukrainian educators displaced by the war. Ruby visited some of those educators during a trip to Poland last year.

"This mission is more than just collecting books. We're bringing hope, creating new opportunities for these students," Ruby said on April 23.

For the full story, click here.

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