Teaching kids about the importance of service and the tremendous impact that they can have on their world and their community is a goal not just for The Big Change Project, but also for us as parents.
Last year, as part of a service-learning initiative, I worked with my daughter’s class to develop a class service project. After brainstorming ideas and researching possibilities, the kids decided that they would partner with a local animal rescue organization to increase awareness and help provide some much needed supplies.
The shelter’s director came to the school to meet with the students and share information about the organization and its needs. The students took notes, asked questions and afterward began creating promotional materials to support their efforts. Some of the kids worked on posters that would be hung around the school, while others worked in PowerPoint to create a flyer about the shelter and their efforts that would be sent home to school families and distributed throughout the community.
The shelter was in need of newspapers, as well as old blankets and towels, to line the cages for the animals while they awaited adoption. Dog and cat treats, toys and baskets were also very much appreciated.
In the end, the kids collected, sorted, organized and moved 4 huge SUVs FULL of donations!
They even arrived with homemade dog treats that were easy to make with just flour and baby food – a fun after school activity for the kids, which surprisingly didn’t make my house smell like cooked flour and chicken baby food as I had feared. It was definitely a project that our dog Jake was happy to help with!
Here’s the recipe for super easy homemade dog treats if you’re interested:
If you are interested in a service project for your local shelter, be sure to contact them to find out the best ways to help. In the meantime, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Volunteer your time – it might be with the animals, but many shelters also need help with computer work, website design and maintenance, promotions and social media, accounting and legal assistance.
- Host a fundraiser – a dog wash is always fun! How about throwing a party for the annual Puppy Bowl? A dog walk or community dog show? And, don’t forget, any of our fundraising ideas on The Big Change Project could also be done with proceeds going to support your local shelter.
- If you are a wiz with a camera, why not help photograph animals up for adoption? A great picture can be just what it takes for Fido to find his forever home.
- Become a Book Buddy – some shelters are looking for student and adult volunteers to bring their favorite book and read to the animals. It helps them to feel relaxed and comforted, relieving some of the stress of being in the shelter.
- Help transport animals to and from adoption events in the community.
- Organize an event and invite the director of the local shelter to come speak about their organization to get the word out.
- Collect pet supplies (leashes, collars, food, toys, treats, bowls, shampoo, etc…) or household cleaning supplies – be sure to ask what they are most in need of to be sure that your efforts are the most beneficial.
Whatever you decide, the animals and their humans thank you!
The Big Change Project
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