Ho ho ho, guys! It’s me, Santa Wally along with my trusty helper, Ernie Elf. ‘Tis the season for giving…and that includes your favorite charities, right? When you’re making out your “who to buy for” gift list and deciding what charities to donate to, don’t forget your local animal shelter or rescue group. They can always use donations. And not just the typical ones like dog and cat food, treats and toys, cat litter or money. Sure, they need those things…but they also need items you might not normally think of donating.
Here’s 5 inexpensive things your local animal shelter can really use and that you can easily donate:
- Blankets and towels. Blankets are used in cages and towels, including hand towels and small wash cloths, are used to clean cages and other things around the shelter. They don’t have to be new ones. We bet you have some towels and blankets that you don’t use anymore. Why not donate these to your local shelter? They will put them to good use.
- Laundry detergent, bleach and dryer sheets. Most of you know the mom volunteers at one of our local shelters. She says you wouldn’t believe the amount of laundry they do on any given day. Which means they go through a lot of detergent and bleach. When you buy a bottle of laundry detergent for yourself, why not pick up an extra one to donate to the shelter?
- Hand sanitizer. Germs and diseases can spread pretty quickly in a shelter. At our shelter, before anyone can touch one of the dogs or cats, they’re asked to use hand sanitizer to help stop the spread of diseases from one animal to another. This applies to all the volunteers and the people that come in during adoption hours. You can imagine how much hand sanitizer the shelter goes through.
- Paper towels and garbage bags. Every shelter needs paper towels and garbage bags. All those litter boxes need cleaning and where do you think the old litter goes? In the garbage. And it fills up quickly. The mom says it seems like they’re always running out of garbage bags at the shelter.
- Your time. This is probably the most important thing you could ever donate. Shelters NEED volunteers. Most are understaffed, and the only way they can provide adequate care for the animals is with the help of volunteers. The animals need feeding, cages need cleaning, dogs need walking. There’s so many ways you can help the shelter by just donating a little bit of your time. Even once a month can be a huge help.
These things may not be as fun as toys and food for the animals, but they help the shelter which, in turn, helps the animals there. You can always include a few toys if you want, too.
We’re putting together our donation for our shelter. The mom will drop all this stuff off to them this week.
We hope that this holiday season you’ll add your local shelter or rescue group to your “who to buy for” gift list. Let’s make sure all the animals waiting in shelters to find their forever homes have a Merry Christmas, too.