The Humane Society Welcomes All Ages
Did You Know…
…that our very own Humane Society of West Michigan offers hands-on, year-round programs for children of ALL ages?
As the mother of two young and enthusiastic animal-lovers, I had always loved the idea of my children visiting and helping at an animal shelter. But since they are just 5 and 2, I was discouraged to see the usual 16-and-up age policy for volunteering opportunities.
I learned something exciting today, however: the Humane Society of West Michigan encourages children of all ages to participate in their program!
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Five Ways Kids Can Get Involved at the Humane Society
In addition, the Humane Society provides programming to help with things like reducing pet overpopulation, providing assistance to low income pet owners, and reuniting lost pets with their owners.
Your child–no matter his or her age!–can get involved with this amazing organization this year through programs and opportunities that nurture a love for animals. Your child will get to help abandoned and abused animals, become educated about responsible pet ownership and care, interact with different animals, meet fellow animal-lovers, and make a valuable contribution to the community.
Here are FIVE fun ways for your child and your family to get involved this year!
1. Volunteer Drop-In Day
Volunteer Drop-In Day is designed especially for families with children under the age of 16. Each month, September through May, parents and guardians can bring their little ones to the Humane Society for an hour of volunteering. Working alongside current volunteers and staff, parents and kids can help walk the dogs (if kids are at least 10 years of age) or help socialize the cats by spending time and playing with them.
Unfortunately, due to the popularity of this program, all the time slots through May have been filled already–but keep your eyes open for new dates and times beginning September 2017! Be sure to follow the Humane Society on Facebook to stay up-to-date on programs like this.
2. Animal Advocacy Club
This is a new club for animal-loving students ages 10-16. For two hours once a month, students get together to meet special guest animal speakers, learn about current animal issues, complete service projects, and take what is learned back to their communities. The Club runs September – May, and the cost of each session is $10 per student. If desired, each session can be logged for two hours of service hours. If interested, please pre-register with Ashley Dahl by emailing her at [email protected]
3. Organize a Drive!
Your child can help the shelter by organizing a drive! Many students in Grand Rapids have raised financial donations for the shelter in the past by holding loose change competitions between classes, bake sales, and other fundraisers. Donations can be submitted online, or arrangements can be made otherwise by emailing the Humane Society.
4. Donate a Wishlist Item
Did you know the Humane Society has a wishlist of items they need at the shelter? I know even my 2-year-old would enjoy helping pick out and shop for items on this list. Many of the items are ones that you’d find around your house, too, such as paper towels, dish soap, and dryer sheets, to name a few.
And when you come to drop off your items, you can get a tour of the facilities! Organizations are also welcome to make wishlist donations. Click here to see the shelter’s current wishlist.
5. Summer Camps
Kids ages 6-15 can attend summer camp at the Humane Society, with guest speakers, educational lessons, creative crafts, fun games, and of course, animal time. Your child will have the opportunity to do something new and unforgettable this summer, while making some new animal-loving friends (both furry and human!). Check the website or Facebook page soon for more information about programs for summer 2017.
A lifelong love for animals is a special gift, to both your child and to the world, and it’s a gift that benefits from being nurtured early in childhood. Cat or dog lover, age 6 or age 16, winter or summer, from home, at school, or at the shelter, you can help your child gain a newfound and deeper appreciation for our furry friends and support a great organization while doing so. Even the youngest members of our community can play a part in making lasting and valuable change!