Creative Marketing Associates
Updated 3/8/2022 9:12 AM
Local pet lovers donated essential animal supplies and made pet blankets for sheltered animals at the North Suburban YMCA’s Fleece Pet Blanket Making event held on February 27. The event drew approximately 50 people ranging from 4 to 70 years of age, and more than 70 blankets were hand-made.
Coordinated by the North Suburban YMCA’s Social Responsibility Committee, the pet supplies and blankets were donated to a Wright-Way Rescue, Orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter, and Heartland Animal Shelter.
“The outpour of donations and interest in this social responsibility event was wonderfully surprising,” states Kathy Fielding, CEO of the NSYMCA. “We are committed to do more of these volunteer events in the future because we are finding that the community really wants to help, especially after COVID, and wants to get more involved.”
For many of the participants, the Fleece Pet Blanket Making event was a family affair. One group, the Gross family, was looking for a family-friendly volunteer opportunity for their son’s mitzvah project.
“We love going to Orphans of the Storm, and when we saw this event posted on Facebook, we knew it was the perfect opportunity for our family to do something good for the community together,” explained Erin Gross.
5-year-old Caleb Johnson who takes swim lessons at the Y participated in the event because he wants to adopt a dog from the shelter someday.
“I liked making the dog toy the most,” said Johnson.
“Animals are an amazing way to teach your child empathy, kindness, and self-esteem. Studies show that children who regularly interact with animals have higher self-esteem, confidence, less loneliness and have enhanced social skills,” stated Ellen Mirochnick, committee member of the North Suburban YMCA’s Social Responsibility Committee. “Volunteering is a great place to start teaching children to do good for others.”
Additionally, because extra fleece supplies were donated, the NSYMCA enlisted the help of the after-school Y-Time children for the community give-back. The children added another 20 blankets to the donation, while learning the importance of giving back and doing things for others.
“I was thrilled to offer this project in my after-school program and saw a lot of smiles while the blankets were being made,” commented Shannon Sliwinski, NSYMCA Youth Development Director. “My kids are already asking me when the next one will be offered because they enjoyed it so much. I reminded them that giving back doesn’t have to be limited, you can do something every day for someone in need or in this case, for some pet in need.”
Look for more Social Responsibility Volunteer events at the North Suburban YMCA this summer and fall. For more information about the Y’s Social Responsibility activities contact Karen Brownlee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the North Suburban YMCA
The North Suburban YMCA services Northbrook and 14 surrounding communities with programs and tools that help its residents become healthier, more connected, and confident, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. The NSYMCA focuses on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility and is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, inclusive and welcoming to all in our community. Learn more at NSYMCA.org.