For Paws and a Cause

A group of students around a table

This is the group that made it all happen!

Just think of all the pets! 

This was the motto as several students of Ms. Amy Meyer’s orientation class ran a fundraiser arranged by Champange Eiklenborg for the Winona Area Humane Society last week. For three days, students took turns working two-hour shifts by the gazebo at the center of campus in order to raise money for the local no-kill establishment. In all, $390.91 was raised to benefit the organization, which far exceeded their original goal of $200.

Who could have foreseen that what started as merely an assignment for the students to better the community by giving time would so quickly escalate and make such a positive impact?  After a visiting speaker from the humane society stopped by the classroom, though, several students were stirred to help out by raising money on campus. Many who participated in the group were dog- and cat-lovers themselves with personal motivation behind their efforts. Helping animals here at school brought a lot of joy to these students as they supported dogs and cats much like the companions they’re missing right now.

Four hours away in Illinois, I have two dogs and a cat of my own—all adopted from shelters. Upon hearing about the humane society here, I knew immediately that it was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. The entire time our table was set up beside the gazebo, it was surreal to see how many people—students and staff alike—were willing to help out and give a few dollars or even just some change if that’s all they had on them. I’m proud to have been a part of this affair, benefiting dogs and cats like my cuddle buddies at home, and to know that the collective efforts of my classmates and I has made such a positive impact at the Winona Area Humane Society.

As a non-profit organization, the local humane society relies on donations to help care for the animals and the costs of operating the shelter. They do not receive funding from the Humane Society of the United States or the American Humane Society, as they are not affiliated with either group, so the exertions of these students is greatly appreciated. The money can be used for simple necessities, like food for the dogs or litter for the cats, and will make a huge difference. These monetary donations are just one way individuals or even groups can help out at the Winona Area Humane Society. On the Winona Area Humane Society website, there are details about volunteering for cat care or dog walking and other ways help is accepted.

–Kayleen Berwick

student pet a dog

Students stop to pet the fundraiser’s mascot.

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