By Mira Reverente
She gave up chocolates for Lent one year. Another year, it was soda. Then she went back and forth between the two “indulgences.” This past Lent, however, Ashlee Harper wanted to make a bigger sacrifice outside of giving up food items but was running out of ideas.
“My mom says I have a potty mouth,” said the 25-year-old. And that’s when it hit her. How about putting $1 in a jar every time she cussed or swore, she thought.
For the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, Harper dutifully dropped in a dollar every time she uttered “a bad word.” “I could have chosen 25 cents or something, but I needed it to ‘hurt’ a bit so I would become more conscious of the repercussions,” she said.
Harper, who works in Agoura Hills, counted the money in the jar right after Easter. The total came out to $87.
This LA resident, who owns a rescued pit bull named Zeke, decided to donate the money to the Agoura Animal Shelter, which is right down the street from her workplace. Back when she was in high school, Harper fondly remembers volunteering at the shelter. “I have good memories of that place with its big play area for the animals and the caring, loving staff,” she said. “It’s not over-crowded like the other shelters.”
Upon hearing of her plan, her co-workers chipped in, bringing her total donation to $118. In addition to her donation, she also wants to pay for the adoption fees of one-time “Pet Spotlight” Shasta, a four-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier/Dalmatian mixed breed, who has lost one eye and is blind in the other.
Harper said she wants to continue to help out the shelter, maybe volunteer during her free time, without having to wait till Lent to do that. She swears.