Pennies for Paws seeks to involve area youth in helping raise funds for the animals at the Kansas Humane Society by gathering 1,000,000 pennies. In 2012, 24 school classrooms and groups participated to raise $10,000.
Registration for this year's event, which runs Feb. 1 - 14, opened on Jan. 1 and closes on Jan. 31.
"So far this year, I have eight teachers who have signed up either their classroom or their entire school for the fundraiser, and one rescue organization," said Bonnie Harrell, youth education director at the KHS. "These numbers are down considerably from last year."
Participation can be by school classrooms, entire schools, Scout troops, church youth groups, any group of youngsters that desires to help care for the animals that await adoption at the KHS. Sign up is easy online, and the KHS will even send out a representative to talk with the students if requested, accompanied by a furry friend of course.
One teacher has suggested that classrooms plan a Puppy Love Valentine Party for the end of the drive to reinforce proper care and behavior with pets and celebrate a successful pennies collection. Harrell also notes that it really helps when a school principal gets involved, challenging the students to raise a specific number of pennies for something fun and crazy at the end. The "reward" can grow as the students continue to raise pennies and reach higher goals.
"We've also heard of groups doing a 'Jar War' in which each classroom teacher has a jar and the kids bring change in each day to drop in the jar," Harrell said. "The twist is that any paper money counts against the classroom, so to 'sabotage' other classrooms' collection, competing classmates may drop paper money in the jar to count against their competitors. At the end of the week, the class with the biggest total minus the paper money wins the Jar War. It's all a positive for the animals!"
If you know a group or would like to encourage your child's teacher or group leader to get involved, you can contact Harrell at the KHS at 316-220-8709 or email@example.com.
Anytime children are encouraged to take care of pets and get an opportunity to understand that a pet is a lifetime commitment is a positive towards reducing the need for shelters and rescues and the millions of animals euthanized each year in our country.