Local kids shift from business owners to philanthropists

Two Roosevelt Elementary students donate $500 to the Humane Society of the Lakes.

Avery (left), 7, and Zoey Keena, 10, used some proceeds from their family business, A to Z Vending, to gift to the Humane Society of the Lakes.
Contributed / Keena family

DETROIT LAKES — The pets at the Humane Society of the Lakes have something to wag their tails and purr about. Two kids from Detroit Lakes recently donated $500 to the animal shelter.

Zoey Keena, 10, and her sister Avery, 7, have a vending machine business, A to Z Vending . Their parents Taryn and Dave Keena took care of the logistics for the business venture. Taryn explained that she and her husband thought the opportunity would teach their kids a good work ethic, about the value of money and the importance of philanthropy.

“We started it in May,” Taryn said, noting they purchased and placed more than 1,000 machines that offer stickers, candy, toys, tattoos and trinkets.

Zoey Keena (left), 10, and her sister Avery, 7, own a vending machine business (with their parents Taryn and Dave Keena). They have machines along the Highway 10 corridor, including at the VFW in Detroit Lakes.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Either Taryn or Dave brought the girls to the machines, which are at locations stretching from Wadena to Hawley. Once at the business, the girls were responsible for cleaning the machines, filling them and removing the money.

“They have a route,” Taryn said, noting on days with no school the Roosevelt Elementary students are often found working alongside a parent.


As profits were seen, the girls put some money into savings accounts. They were also tasked with picking a place to donate part of the proceeds. Avery explained the Humane Society was an easy choice, as they both like animals.

“We have one cat and one dog,” she said, adding she hopes the funds provide beds and toys for the pets at the shelter. Zoey agreed with her sister, adding food and treats would also be nice.

In addition to the financial support, the girls also enjoy playing with the pets waiting on adoption. The financial donation and time gifted to the animals are appreciated by those operating the animal shelter, said the shelter manager Rachel Nolan.

"Those donations go a long way," Nolan said, adding the girls put in hard work to make the money they donated. Nolan said the shelter is in need of food for both dogs and cats, as well as kitty litter. She said donations can be dropped off Tuesday through Friday from 12-6 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and if the donation will not be damaged by the cold weather, there is a donation box near the front door.

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