When Skylar Lynch turned seven on April 3, it was an equally joyous celebration for Last Hope Animal Rescue. The Levittown animal lover made it clear to her mother Ilene that rather than receive gifts, she wanted to raise money for Last Hope instead. For the month leading up to her daughter’s birthday, Ilene got the word out on Facebook to numerous community organizations including the Levittown Moms Group that Skylar was collecting donations for the Wantagh-based nonprofit. The end result was that Skylar and her 9-year-old brother Luke raised $355 along with donating an SUV full of pet supplies people purchased and forwarded from Amazon and Chewie to the Lynch household. Skylar, who counts felines Fonzie and Shea as pets, is very serious about this furry cause.
“I love animals and I want to help them,” she said.
Sweetening the deal was an offer made by The Rainbow Cookie Lady, who also happens to be Skylar’s mom. Anyone who came by that day to drop off a donation received a free, homemade Rainbow Cookie Bar, a local delicacy the Lynch matriarch has been churning out for the past 26 years.
“I’ve been making them for a long time for my friends and family,” Lynch said. “I ship them to people that don’t live around here too. The last few years, I decided to start selling them and it actually does pretty well around here, especially around the holidays. Because everyone loves them and I know that they do, I used them to entice people to stop by that day. I made the cookies bigger and made them individually for them as they came by.”
A single mom who is a freelance bookkeeper by trade, Lynch has instilled empathy and charity into her children at an early age. The past couple of summers have seen Skylar and Luke set up lemonade stands to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a pediatric treatment and research facility that doesn’t charge patients for their care. Inspired by the television ads the medical facility frequently airs, the siblings raised just shy of $300 last summer.
“Last year was the best one even though I didn’t think anyone would come because we did it in June,” Ilene said. “It’s not like we’re in the best position, but I always tell them that there are people that are less fortunate.”
While Lynch was raised in nearby East Meadow, she’s grown to fiercely embrace the Levittown community. The mom of two isn’t surprised by the outpouring Skylar received.
“I love the Levittown community,” she said. “I think everything that Levittown offers is great. We go to Levittown Hall and take advantage of the Levittown Library and Levittown Pool. I like to get involved and get to know the people and what’s going on in my neighborhood.”
Visit www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org to find out more about Last Hope Animal Rescue.