Philanthropic by nature, children and WARL benefit through Humane Education programs.
In December 2008 I started writing warlkids.blogspot.com, a blog for kids, teachers, and others who care about animals. It’s a great forum to share information. I post about the animals in my life; recommend my favorite books; and list lots of resources.
One of my favorite updates happens regularly. It’s when a student, or a group of kids, or an entire class does something for the animals. The kind kids are not looking for accolades; they hold lemonade stands, bake dog biscuits, collect linens, and make toys to help the animals.
The headings read like who’s who is animal altruism.
- Asia asked friends celebrating her 10th birthday to bring gifts for the animals at the League rather than presents for her.
- Silver Spring Avenue Crew helps the animals at the League –The neighborhood team held a toy sale and lemonade stand that netted $171.00 for the animals!
- Takoma Park 4-H Club designed and created cat comforters and toys, collected towels for the animals, and brought food, treats and cash for the animals.
- Brent Elementary School’s Kids Care Service Club created a school-wide advertising campaign to highlight their linen drive. Bags and bags and bags of much needed blankets, towels and quilts were collected at the school and transported to the League.
Chevy Chase Elementary School’s after school program students delivered gourmet dog treats to the League in brightly colored bags during spring break.
- Grace Episcopal Day School Girl Scouts Troop 5602 created toys for shelter cats out of baby socks and catnip.
- Swanson Middle School students collected TONS of towels and blankets and baked tasty treats for our resident dogs.
- The Lab School of Washington students collected boxes full of linens for the animals.
- Lafayette Elementary School donates nearly 200 lbs. of food to the Rescuers Food Bank!
- Proceeds from Brownie Troop 2888’s cookie sales benefited the animals.
- Temple Shalom 7th Grade Mitzvah Project – raised more than $300 for the animals, plus a large collection of linens, and cat and dog food and treats were delivered by the students and their families.
- Edmund Burke 6th graders raised $413.01 through ticket and popcorn sales for a movie night benefiting for the animals.
- Beth El Kindergartners collected towels, blankets and treats and baked cookies for the animals.
- Washington Hebrew Congregation’s fifth grade class decorated a collection box with photos of their animals and filled it to the brim with donations for the League and Rescuers Food Bank.
A growing body of research shows that children, even nonverbal infants, are predisposed toward altruistic actions. An October 2008 USA Today article highlighted a study by Just Kid Inc., a marketing and research firm targeting children that found that nine out of 10 of the 2,000 kids surveyed said it is “extremely, very or somewhat important” to help others and to give back to their communities. The animals in our care benefit tremendously from the philanthropic nature of children. When asked why she contributed her birthday money to the League, 11-year-old Ariana Brenig said,”I love WARL! Everything makes me feel at home – the staff, the setup and the animals. I have a lot of stuff, and instead of gifts I wanted to make a difference at a place I think is special.”
Debra Duel is the Washington Animal Rescue League’s Director of Humane Education.