H2O Middle School Volunteers Help All Dogs' Heaven
Volunteers who participated in the H2O middle school program last spring gave feedback about the issues that are important to them - and the program is responding. One of the most prevalent concerns among these passionate youth is the welfare of animals; as Veronica at Harding said, “I believe that one of the most important issues is to protect animals, who cannot speak for themselves.” They have been given an opportunity to use their compassion and concern to help... and to take some action!
During the first three meetings, which took place at Harding, Garfield and Lakewood Catholic Academy, kids made dog toys which were 100% recycled, made from braided strips of old t-shirts. They made custom-designed tags that were attached to each product. These one-of-a-kind dog toys (which tested effectively with dogs who like tug-of-war), were sold at the Spooky Pooch Parade. All proceeds went to All Dogs' Heaven animal rescue in Lakewood. The kids received background on the organization they were supporting, but also on what some of the challenges domesticated animals (such as dogs and cats) face.
Melissa Linkemann of All Dogs' Heaven came to speak to kids at Harding and Garfield about how she identified the need to help dogs who have been neglected and abused, and how she could help. She told them how she started as a much smaller operation, working closely with other rescue groups. As she gained focus, she narrowed her rescue organization to some of the most desperate cases you'll ever find.
She detailed the extraordinary amount of personal sacrifice she has given to her organization, literally working full-time with the only compensation being her satisfaction of helping animals. She also described the amount of cooperation it takes, between veterinarians, dog foster families, trainers, and fund-raising friends, to achieve her success. She was such an inspiration to the kids in H2O, who are always looking for ways to help others.
We at H2O look forward to many more projects this year that help Lakewood’s youth share their concern and compassion for serving the community. H2O is a program of the Lakewood Department of Human Services Division of Youth in partnership with Lakewood City Schools. Please visit our website at www.H2OLakewood.org or call 529-6045 for meeting times and other information.