Combining love for animals with a desire to serve the community, students from the Walker County Junior Master Gardener Summer Boat Camp found a creative way to help animals awaiting adoption.
Ten students in the summer boot camp converted old sweaters and sweatshirts into animal beds that will be used at the Rita B. Huff Humane Society in Huntsville.
“After last year’s boot camp I spent a lot of time looking for different activities, and found this project online thinking it would be a great project for the children,” said Walker County Master Gardener Jan Oliver. “I immediately started asking for donated sweatshirts, sweaters and stuffing and we were fortunate to have enough so every child in the program could participate.”
The children — with the aid of master gardeners — sewed the openings of the sweatshirts and stuffed them with old pillows and stuffing. All of the supplies were donated from the community.
The animal bed program served as a community project for the boot camp, which is required for camp-goers to achieve their Level 1 Gardening Certification.
“Projects like this are so great … the kids are being taught compassion and empathy and that is something that these animals really need,” said Lori Tolliver, executive director at Rita B. Huff. “The shelter survives off donations and every little donation from an animal bed to a monetary donation goes a long way.”
As the animal beds were being picked up the children were shown pictures of the animals that would be able to use the products of their hard work.
The Rita B. Huff Humane Society is a no-kill animal shelter, with a mission to preserve the lives and well being of animals through adoption, rescue, spaying and neutering and education. The shelter serves the citizens of Walker County and other select neighboring counties.
The Junior Master Gardener Summer Boat Camp is a two-week program for students in third, fourth and fifth grades. The camp involves teaching children the world of gardening with hands-on activities, teaching life skills and career exploration.
To adopt an animal or donate to the Rita B. Huff Humane Society visit the headquarters at 530 Bearkat Blvd. in Huntsville or by calling 936-295-4666.