Abandoned puppies need extra loving

Published 6:56 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2006

By Staff
Warm, fuzzy puppies; adult dogs who have been abandoned; cats and kittens, too, all need a little love. If you enjoy these furry friends, local shelters and animal protection organizations would welcome your volunteer time. They include ANIMAL AID OF SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN (St. Joseph); PET REFUGE (South Bend); THE HUMANE SOCIETY (Benton Harbor; and ANIMAL SERVICE LEAGUE (Dowagiac.) Direct help with the animals, editing the newsletter, assisting with fundraisers, and developing websites are all needed services.
HELPING HANDS OF CASS COUNTY in Cassopolis provides county residents with food, clothing and medicine in times of emergency. Youth volunteers are invited to help sort donations and assist in providing items to needy families. If you can help after school, call the Volunteer Center.
SAFE SHELTER, a local agency that provides safety and empowerment to the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, welcomes volunteers interested in this issue to work at the crisis desk on weekdays and weekends. The volunteers would be directly assisting clients, answering the telephone, and making referrals. Sixteen to 20 hours of training are provided.
The Kellogg Leadership for Community Change Project at BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF BENTON HARBOR partners with youth to participate in a community change project in Benton Harbor. Volunteer LCCP Fellows are invited to work one weekday afternoon or evening for 3-6 hours to mentor youth in developing various life skills.
THE BERRIEN COUNTY COUNCIL FOR CHILDREN is dedicated to shaping a community that shields children from abuse and neglect. The organization would welcome a volunteer who could provide occasional technical support for both computer hardware and software, particularly around the issue of networking. In addition, the organization would love to have help in recreating its website.
THE THERAPEUTIC EQUESTRIAN CENTER in Buchanan enhances the lives of people with special needs through horse-related activities. The organization would welcome the support of two volunteer managers who would oversee a reliable volunteer force; recruit and train new volunteers; and maintain records. The time commitment for each would be approximately eight hours per week, with some work done via e-mail.
THE BERRIEN COUNTY CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS reports that Berrien County residents use more blood products than we donate. Let's change that! The next Blood drive will be coming to your area soon.
Michigan Community Blood Centers is also sponsoring a blood drive in Niles. Everyone is invited to donate blood at Niles Community Federal Credit Union, at 507 E. Main St., Niles, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. This blood drive is open to the public. Any healthy person 17 or older who weighs 110 pounds or more may be eligible to give blood every 56 days. No appointment is necessary. For more information go to www.miblood.org or 1/866-MIBLOOD.
Do you love science? Are you 16 years old or older? If so, UPTON MIDDLE SCHOOL invites you to become a science mentor one day a week for six weeks between 3 and 4:30 p.m. Volunteers would be working with two students at a time to prepare them for the Science Olympiad which will take place on March 15. Subject areas to be studied include chemistry, food science, heredity, meteorology, disease “detective,” mystery of architecture, fitness and the solar system.
Now that the holidays seem like a distant memory, many local food banks are experiencing shortages of foodstuffs. Have the family help empty your pantry and donate unneeded canned goods and other items to the food bank of your choice. You might even want to make it a neighborhood-wide project so everyone can get involved.
To connect on these opportunties, call the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan in Niles at (269) 683-5464.