Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Engaging Youth to help homeless cats and dogs!

On April 25th Pet Haven's Outreach Team had the opportunity to participate in Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), sponsored by the Minnesota Alliance With Youth. Global Youth Service Day is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service and service-learning. Established in 1988, GYSD is the largest service event in the world and is now celebrated in over 100 countries. On GYSD, children and youth address the world’s most critical issues in partnership with families, schools, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, and governments. The Minnesota event was held at the Mall of America, and included on-site service projects, entertainment by local bands and youth organizations, and an awards ceremony. Pet Haven was excited to be one of organizations to provide on-site service work. Kids and parents who stopped by the Pet Haven table were able to participate in a variety of projects, including making dog toys from tennis balls and fleece, braiding fleece strips for dog chew toys, tying no-sew blankets, decorating ping-pong balls for cat toys, and filling and decorating canning jars with decorated dog biscuits, to be sold at Pet Haven fundraising events. After completing a service project at each organization's station the kids received a checkmark on their service passport; 3 checkmarks and they received a free GYSD t-shirt. The event was extremely busy - so much so that only an hour in the Pet Haven team had to run out to buy more supplies! The kids loved the idea of helping homeless dogs and cats, and the table was swarmed throughout the event. Huge thanks to Tiffany Fisk and Krista and Jason Colt, along with some of the Minnesota Alliance With Youth volunteers, for helping out at the event. What a great way to get kids excited about volunteerism, and spread the word about Pet Haven!

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