The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

September 27, 2013

West Virginia’s Day of Service to benefit shelter dogs

Canines awaiting adoption at the Raleigh County Humane Society will soon be doing so a little more comfortably with the help of local community members.  

Volunteers are needed to build 50 raised beds as part of West Virginia’s 2013 Day to Serve. The event will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the YMCA Soccer Complex.

Organizer Selina Vickers, adolescent health initiative coordinator for Regional Education Service Agencies (RESA) 1, said that she got the idea for the event after watching a YouTube video chronicling a similar event held by Columbus Dog Connection, an Ohio-based animal rescue group.

After realizing the opportunity to see her idea to fruition, Vickers applied for a grant from Volunteer West Virginia to fund material costs for PVC piping, screws and heavy-duty fabric.

“I think it’s important for everyone, especially kids, to get involved in community service projects,” said Vickers. “It can be empowering to youth to realize that their actions can make a change in their communities.”

The raised beds, which sit 4- to 6-inches above the ground, create a warmer, more hygienic, and overall healthier and more comfortable sleeping situation for shelter dogs while they wait to find their forever homes.

“The event is great for the dogs but also great for people, who get a chance to make a huge impact with relatively little work,” Vickers explained.

Each bed will take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete, Vickers said. “They are really easy to make.”

Volunteers will also have an opportunity to see their work realized, as they will have the option to drive right down the street to the Human Society and see their handiwork put to use, personally placing it in a dog’s kennel.

Those that would like to be a part of the effort but are unable to attend Saturday’s Build-a-Bed event can still make a difference by making a donation to the Raleigh County Humane Society.

“Making one bed can benefit so many dogs over the course of several years,” Vickers said.

She hopes to expand the initiative to soon encompass more area animal shelters in the area.

As building the beds will require the use of power tools, participants need to be at least 12 years old, and volunteers under 16 need to be accompanied by a participating adult.

Volunteers will be awarded with a certificate logging their community service hours, which can be used for college and scholarship applications.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, contact Vickers at smvickers@access.k12.wv.us.

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Another Day of Service event Saturday is organized by Bryan Danford at Twin Falls State Park. Volunteers will work on maintaining the Biking Skills Course. The course will be extended and some fun obstacles added to help develop mountain biking skills.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Danford at 304-294-4000 or e-mail bryan.w.danford@wv.gov.

— E-mail: bunderwood@register-herald.com

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