Central Jersey teen is powerhouse for pets, collects nearly 18,000 cans cat food

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Norm Lee, then 12 or 13, poses for a photo in the Tabby’s Place lobby in 2010.
Norm had already collected more than $1,500 worth of cat food donations for Tabby’s Place.


Over the course of 5 years, a NewJersey teen has collected more than $10k worth of food for the cats at Tabby’s Place Cat Sanctuary, in Ringoes, and his good works have attracted more donors,volunteers and adopters for Tabby’s Place along the way.

It all started with one neon-orange bin.

Norm Lee, then 13, presented his bright creation to the staff at Tabby’s Place: a Cat Sanctuary, with a proposal. The eighth-grader planned to ask local grocers for permission to display bins in their stores, soliciting shoppers’ donations of cat food. Moved by Norm’s vision, the Tabby’s Place team gratefully accepted his offer.

They never imagined just how much the humble teen would change the cats’ lives.

In five years, Norm amassed a tidal wave of tinned cat food for Tabby’s Place. As of this fall, Norm, now a senior at Princeton Day School, has collected 17,574 cans of cat food, valued at $10,900, for the cage-free, no-kill cat sanctuary.

In addition to nourishing the neediest cats, Norm has forged lasting friendships for Tabby’s Place. Countless customers have discovered Tabby’s Place through Norm’s bright bins, only to become ongoing donors, volunteers and adopters at the nonprofit Ringoes sanctuary.

Through it all, Norm has remained a steadfast force of good and a model of devotion. Each Sunday, without fail, he has trekked to his bins, gathered and counted the cans, and delivered them to Tabby’s Place. Norm’s made frequent improvements to his bins, adding brochure displays and a “cat of the week” spotlight for extra-needy felines. Unflaggingly modest, Norm has gone about his work with quiet commitment, deflecting accolades. For Norm, it’s all for the love of the cats.

Norm is heading to college next fall, and it’s no surprise to Tabby’s Place that the selfless student is considering a career in teaching or physical therapy. Although his feline and human friends at Tabby’s Place will miss Norm deeply, they know great things lie ahead for him. Back in Ringoes, Norm’s legacy of love will go on as fellow volunteers keep up with his bins – and countless cats are fed by his mission in the years to come.

For more stories about Tabby’s Place and their special cats at our site, click HERE.

Tabby’s Place: a Cat Sanctuary is a cage-free, no-kill sanctuary for cats rescued from hopeless situations, located at 1100 US Highway 202, Ringoes, NJ, 08551, and online at www.tabbysplace.org.


2 thoughts on “Central Jersey teen is powerhouse for pets, collects nearly 18,000 cans cat food”

  1. Such a great guy. Always wonderful to hear a story about a teen who is so giving and unselfish. Great Job Norm. You’re a hero in my book!

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