COWs and Cats and Dogs: Focus on Community

COWs and Cats and Dogs: Focus on Community

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Well, we have officially blown halfway through March and spring is just days away! For those of you who made a New Years resolution to be more involved, your time has come. If you don’t cross it off the list by April, you might as well call it a loss…but no worries! I know for a fact that a few of our very own Awesome Mitten staff members committed to doing more and that is why we wanted to feature our recent alliance with the Humane Society of West Michigan.

The Awesome Mitten got involved as a result of Grand Valley’s Community Outreach Week (COW), which is happening this month from March 18th-March 23rd. COW is a joint effort between the GVSU Alumni Association and the Community Service Learning Center and reaches out to alumni, students, and humans in general, to put their volunteerism to good use, particularly during this week. After you try it out, we’d encourage you to contact volunteer coordinators on your own to keep up the good works! While some are alumni or student only projects, there are tons available to you as a readership: Meals for Sophia’s House, Kid’s Food Basket (of Muskegon and Grand Rapids), and even a Wii Bowling Tournament at the Covenant Village Retirement Community. As a west-sider in Grand Rapids, the spring cleaning opportunities at places like Richmond Park and Blandford Nature Center really tickled my fancy. (Sign up for the Humane Society of West Michigan COW project too!)

If you aren’t a local reader, there are opportunities all over the US, including Chicago, Des Moines, Fort Worth, San Francisco, Detroit, Tampa, Colorado Springs and Traverse City. Click here to sign up for something that works with your schedule during COW!

At the Humane Society of West Michigan, Awesome Mitten Staff, along with a crew of other dedicated volunteers, will be cleaning up and scrubbing down the outdoor areas that 11,000 pets annually use. The Humane Society runs solely on donations and adoptions so even if your contribution for the week is to take a new animal friend home, that’s an amazing gift to the organization!

If you happen to be booked for COW week, or if the company you admire has a full service team already booked, make sure you check out their websites to volunteer year round. The Humane Society of West Michigan alone uses hundreds of volunteers a year and hosts events that always require helping hands. Coming up on March 25th is Paws, Claws & Corks, a delicious evening at the DeVos Center in Grand Rapids, followed by a silent auction. Buy your tickets here! If you have kids begging for a furball to cuddle, send them to Spring Break Camp Kids and Paws, a three-day day camp designed as a prerequisite for future caring pet owners.

So as road conditions slowly improve and the neighborhood snowmen depart until next year, get ready for spring and help your community do the same. If you have any causes or organizations you’re passionate about or already volunteering for, recruit more people by creating your own event for COW! We thank you for getting involved and meeting the needs of communities here in Michigan and all over the US.
Happy COW Week

Lyndsay Israel, Feature Writer