Creative kids help animals


DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I read your column on volunteering at pet shelters and for other organizations. All great, but many shelters don’t let anyone under 16, and sometimes 18, volunteer to work with the pets. However, for kids who want to help pets in some way, there are still some great ways to do so! They can organize or join fundraisers at their school or church, and donate the funds to local shelters or pet-welfare organizations. There are many different ways to raise money, and that’s what most animal-care groups need: cash! – Cheering Volunteer Mom in Virginia

DEAR VOLUNTEER MOM: Great idea! Raising funds can be as easy as participating in a walk for animal welfare (like the Wiggle Waggle Walk in Pasadena, Calif.). Or kids can think of things to make and sell for a fundraising drive, like the two grade-schoolers in Kingston, N.Y., who raised money for the Ulster County SPCA through a church project.
“They were given $10 and asked to use it to make more money for a charity. Tyler made labor-intensive bracelets and donated $75, and Caelin made dog biscuits and donated $450,” Marie Shultis of the Ulster County SPCA said.
The shelter is looking at starting a youth entrepreneurial group to help other kids learn about fundraising and plans to develop workshops for teen volunteers to teach young people about caring for animals.
So even if a local shelter doesn’t have a lot of accessible events or volunteer opportunities, kids can come up with great ideas to help them anyway. Parents, educators, church-group leaders and other youth leaders can help foster the spirit of volunteering and provide guidance.
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