Monday, July 15, 2013
Blog the Change - July Edition - Something different
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