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May 28, 2010

Happy Socks, Happy Cats

Young party-goers get crafty for animals

  • Tessa Evers (back row, center) and friends turned her 10th birthday party into a bash for shelter animals.  Mary Lou Evers.

Is there craftiness involved in planning a birthday party? You bet—especially for Tessa Evers of Appleton, Wisconsin. 

Each year, Tessa and her mom decide on a fun craft for Tessa and her guests to create at her birthday party. Guests take their completed craft home as a gift and memento of all the fun. For her 10th birthday, however, Tessa had something different up her sleeve—or perhaps we should say her sock.

Tessa had read a KIND News article about creating "Happy Socks" for shelter cats. The project takes spare socks—and what household doesn't have a few of those hanging around?—and turns them into toys for cats in animal shelters. "The catnip in Happy Socks helps cats to relax," says Martha Powers, creator of Operation Happy Sock. "A big, warm, fuzzy Happy Sock makes life a little less difficult for homeless felines."

"I thought this would be a great activity to do at my birthday party," says Tessa. "I have three cats and I wanted to help other kitties in need."

To do even more for shelter animals, Tessa asked her guests to bring cat or dog food to the party instead of a present. At party's end, Tessa's house wasn't littered with torn wrapping paper and boxes. Instead, there was a shopping bag full of Happy Socks and a pile of donations for the animals at the Fox Valley Humane Society.

"We loved doing the project!" exclaims Tessa. "I felt great afterward knowing we helped animals feel more comfortable until they found a new home."

Tessa's mom, Mary Lou agreed. "What a fun idea! We can't wait to deliver the goodies to these well-deserved animals. We hope other kids will be inspired to help shelter animals as well!"


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