Wish list drives help to provide necessary items for your local animal shelter, and they can be a fun, learning experience too!
Follow these steps and youíll be on your way to service learning stardom!
1. Contact an animal shelter.
Contact animal shelters in your area, and find out which ones will most benefit from a donation. Many animal shelters may already have a wish list of items needed. Itís very important to find out what specific type of food they accept as donations, as many dogs and cats at the shelter may have specific dietary needs.
You can find shelters in your area at www.aspca.org/findashelter.
2. Ask for help.
You will need help with organizing the event, collecting donations, and delivering them to the shelters. You can ask your friends and classmates to help, and youíll also need the help of an adult, such as a teacher, guardian, parent, or community group leader.
3. Assign a task to each person in your group.
These jobs may include:
4. Determine the date and location of the event.
Once you have decided on a location for the event, such as a school or community center, decide on a date well in advance. The date could be in connection with an animal event, such as Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month in June or Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month in October. Visit our animal-related events calendar to find out about specific animal celebration dates.
5. Publicize your event.
Create posters asking people for donations and announcing the drive. Hang them up in schools, community groups, and clubs to which you may belong. Please remember to ask permission before putting up a poster in any location.
Day of the Event
1. Prepare your location.
Make sure your location for collection is clearly marked and visible. Put up several posters around the location, and be sure to display something colorful, such as balloons, to bring attention to the location. Use your imagination!
2. Set up your materials.
Set up a table with chairs for those greeting donors as they arrive, and to display any information you would like to give away about pets or about the shelters to which you are donating the items.
3. Keep records.
Get a special notebook to record the name, address, and description of the donation for each of the donors. You can ask them to sign in themselves, or assign someone to record the information. This information will be used to send donors receipts, information on future events, updates on the success of the drive, and thank-you notes for their donations.
4. Set up collection bins.
Set up boxes in an area to place donated items. The boxes should be clearly marked. This will make it much easier when it is time to sort the donated items.
After the Event
1. Deliver the fruits of your labor.
Once you collected the items, sort and package them neatly in small and medium boxes. This will make it easier to transport. Contact the shelter or shelters that are accepting the donations, and confirm a date to deliver the items.
2. Say thank you.
Itís important to thank the donors for their contributions. Also, itís nice to include a brief description of the organizations that will receive their donations, and information on any upcoming events you will have.
3. Reflect on your experience.
Meet with the members of your group to summarize your experiences. Ask yourselves the following questions:
4. Acknowledge your good work.
Give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done. Ask your supervisor or project leader if you can have a lunch or dessert to thank the volunteers for their good deeds.
Time to show off! Ask permission to display any pictures taken at the event at your school, community organization, or after-school program. Consider posting them along with project information on a website like DoSomething.org. Offer your images to the organization to use on their web site.
If you are part of a club, this is a great way to let people know what you do, and is a great way to recruit new members!