March 31, 2011
Help Homeless Pets: Hold a Supply Drive
Collect food and supplies for your local animal shelter
One great way to help your local animal shelters is to collect supplies for them. Here's how:
Step 1: Find out what’s needed. Call the shelter or check their website to find out what items they need most. Some shelters request particular brands of pet food or cat litter. Others may need items such as towels, blankets, bandages, toys, treats, or office supplies.
Step 2: Decide on the details.
• Set a date. Anytime is a good time for a shelter collection, but many choose to coordinate their collection with a holiday or event. Once the date has been set, give your project a title or catch phrase. For example, a Valentine’s Day collection could be called “Have a Heart—Help a Pet”; for Christmas, “Presents for Pets."
• Designate drop-off locations for supplies. At school, good drop-off sites include the cafeteria, library, and other common areas. In your community, consider setting up drop-off sites at grocery stores, pet supply stores, veterinary hospitals, elementary schools, churches, and community centers. Be sure to ask permission from the store manager or principal in advance.
• Gather large boxes for the supplies. You can get cardboard boxes from nearly any retail store; just call ahead, explain what you’re up to, and ask if employees would set aside boxes for you to pick up. Decorate them according to your theme.
Step 3: Spread the word. Your collection’s success depends on how well you promote it. Here are several ways to get the word out:
• Posters for pets. Make posters and fliers announcing the collection. In all your promotional materials, be sure to include the drop-off locations, deadline, and the list of needed items. It’s a nice touch to include info about the shelter you’re collecting for, such as the shelter’s name, address, phone number, and website. Hang posters in school hallways, homerooms, the cafeteria, the library, and other high-traffic areas. If your collection is community-wide, ask permission to hang posters and put collection boxes in prominent areas around town.
• Get on the air. Make an announcement over your school’s public address system. Contact local radio stations to ask if they’ll air information about your collection or conduct an interview with you. If you get one set up, be sure to let the organization you’re helping know!
• The write stuff. Run an article about your collection in the school newspaper. Write letters to the editors of local newspapers about your collection and how citizens can help. Be sure to personalize the letter with specific details about your collection.
Step 4: Deliver the goods. When your collection is over, arrange to bring the supplies to the shelter. Call in advance to schedule a good time and find out if the shelter wants publicity. If so, call your local newspaper and TV stations and ask if they would like to cover the event.