Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog the Change - July Edition - Something different


Blog the Change


So once again Blog the Change is upon us.. Last time I blogged about being careful where you source your food and treats (Yes Catswell, I'm looking straight at you!) And in January I blogged about the difference a dollar could make.

Today I thought I'd blog about unique ways to support your local shelter.

Inevitably when I talk about helping out at the shelter, I hear someone say, but I could never go in, I would be so sad.  Did you know most shelters have volunteer opportunities that do not involve working with the animals?  I used to go into my local shelter two to three days a week when I was unemployed and helped out in the office processing donations, filing, and other general office work?   I know a woman who volunteers by going in and simply doing laundry when she has the time.  Often shelters are going for grants, if you are good at grant writing, I am sure they would appreciate your skills.

I have also spent time writing thank you notes for a shelter that isn't even in the same state as I am.

Shelters are almost always in need of people to help set up and or take down displays at local events.  Even if you don't feel comfortable standing at the display and talking to people about the shelter, simple manual labor is always welcome.  Also bake sales are very common for shelters.  So baking a plate of cookies or some brownies will help them raise funds.

Another way to help is to support the staff.  Staff is often over work and underpaid, so making a plate of cookies for them would be welcome.  On hot summer days a couple of boxes of ice cream novelties will also be highly welcome.  I once ran across a sale of medical scrubs and I picked up all that were there and donated those.. knowing full well when you work with animals you are inevitably going to be soiled and having a spare to use is a good thing.

Did you just buy new towels?  Your old ones would be of great use to the shelter.  Do you yard sale?  More often than not you can find great items there that can be of use to a shelter. Rabbits and birds make use of some of the children's hard rattle like toys.   Most shelters have "wish lists" of items they need.  Bleach, paper towels, stamps, copy paper.  If your shelter runs a summer program for kids, then they might be looking for crafting supplies to keep the kids busy.

One thing that is almost always appreciated to the point where staff starts to gush is stuff for small animals. Greens, carrots, an apple or two.. this stuff is highly perishable and fairly expensive and it is rarely donated. Contact your shelter and see how much they can use. A bale of hay could also be very helpful.  Also most shelters use hot dogs to give dogs medication, and right now hot dogs are often on sale this time of year.

Do you sew or craft?  If your shelter has a small area of things for sale, donating some crafts will help them make money.  One shelter I visited recently had jewelry for sale.  The shelter I volunteer for had home made cards for sale as well as home made cat nip pillows and cat beds.

There is a lot you can do with little investment in time or money that will make a world of difference to a shelter.  Just knowing the community supports them can often do more than you can imagine

19 comments:

  1. You forgot the Coffee to the staff :)
    My mom alway´s bring coffe to the staff on our local shelter and that is much appreciated.
    Great post about the little thing´s you can do for a shelter that means soooo much for them !

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  2. great post Connie,xx Rachel

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  3. Yes, yes, YES! Awesome information and absolutely appreciated by all the shelters and volunteers. Thank you! Purrs...

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  4. great post....it is so true - the little things make a difference. My parents set aside a certain amount of money each year for donations. They wait until things go on sale and buy in bulk. This year they donated to the rescue where I volunteer - my dad's truck was full of paper towels, bleach, laundry detergent....all the stuff that they go through so fast and need all the time. It doesn't have to be big - buying paper towels for yourself - buy an extra pack for the local rescue. :) EVERY little thing is appreciated.

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  5. Great suggestions! Our shelter also has volunteers that make follow up calls two weeks after someone adopts an animal. Can you imagine how much fun it must be to hear all those happy adoption stories?

    And don't forget the first week of November is National Shelter Staff and Volunteer appreciation Week. I made lots of new friends when I took baked goods to the shelter. As a foster volunteer, I don't get to see the folks at the shelter much but the treats helped me get to meet some other volunteers.

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  6. These are all really great ideas!

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  7. I sometimes offer to help out at shelter booths during pet exhibitions. Mainly to help with the fund raising. It's very fulfilling.

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  8. Cat and dog toys are always in need too for socialization. They often have to be washed/bleached regularly and need frequent replacing.

    If you have old t-shirts, they can be cut into strips and braided into dog tug toys. They are fun to make, and the dogs love them.

    Also, they love if you save toilet paper or toweling tubes for the critters to chew on.

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  9. Those are some great ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

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  10. Oh my these a great suggestions I never considered. I donate old sheets and blankets but now there is so much more I can do. Thanks!

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  11. This is an awesome post! What great ideas I never would have thought of!

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  12. What great ideas! I must admit I tend to avoid the shelter because I'm afraid of going in...I might bring another kitty or two...or three.

    We have an option to donate to charities of our choice through payroll donation and I've done that for years. But some of these ideas of dropping off items can be easily done. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  13. Your ideas are fantastic! Very well done.

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  14. Wonderful ideas for helping out! sharing.

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  15. Those are fabulous ideas! Thanks!

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  16. Really good ideas! Thanks for sharing! The mom helps out the local rescue group by writing thank yous to those that have donated monies.

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  17. We loved all your suggestions. Mom has been donating her towels for years. She also makes catnip pillows to be sold and for the kitties at the shelter to use. And whenever she buys an 18 pound bag of cat chow for us, she buys one for the group she supports. She likes your other numerous suggestions as well. Thanks for this great post. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauridio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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  18. A brilliant post with some great ideas!

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  19. These are some fantastic and rarely-if-ever-mentioned possibilities - awesome suggestions! Now no one has ANY excuse for not helping in some way.

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals!

    KimT
    www.BTC4Animals.com
    http://cindylusmuse.blogspot.com

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