Student volunteering benefits animals, community

Palmerton Area School District  |  Posted on

Students from Palmerton Area Senior High School volunteered at the Carbon County Friends of Animals shelter on April 8, 2022.

On April 8, 2022, the Palmerton Area Senior High School’s Palmerton Against Animal Cruelty (PAAC) club provided a morning of service work at the Carbon County Friends of Animals (CCFOA), which is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the elimination of animal suffering through sheltering and finding homes for pets in need. PAAC chose to visit the CCFOA shelter for this year’s service trip to not only experience their youth outreach program but also to spend some time volunteering at the shelter.

“My favorite part of participating in Palmerton Against Animal Cruelty is being able to help out the shelters and the community”, said PAAC’s president, Julia Blose, a senior at Palmerton Area Senior High School.

Twenty PAAC members attended the PAAC field trip this year under the leadership of their advisor Ms. Miranda Allen, who is also a teacher at the high school. PAAC also invites students from the high school’s life skills classroom along on the trip each year. All the students on this year’s trip assisted with the morning routine at the shelter and interacted with its 100+ felines. Although Carbon County is part of the organization’s name, this shelter does not receive any funding from the county or any other government agency. All the CCFOA’s operating costs, maintenance costs, and manpower are taken care of through fundraising, volunteering and donations from organizations like PAAC. PAAC has been working with CCFOA for over 10 years, and the students always look forward to seeing the program and needy animals they are supporting first-hand.

The shelter manager was eager to include the students in their morning routine. Throughout the day, students collected and laundered dirty bedding, swept and washed the floors and walls, washed food and water bowls, cleaned and sanitized toys and litter boxes, and fed the cats. After all the “dirty work” was completed, PAAC members also had time to relax with the cats and spend some time socializing with their new feline friends. This was PAAC’s third annual service field trip, and the shelter staff was very excited to have the students back. Participating in PAAC provides students with an opportunity to get involved in helping local pets in need throughout our community. PAAC is very proud to contribute service hours working at local animal shelters.

Hannah Citron, PAAC’s Secretary, said, “I loved my experience volunteering at the Carbon County Friends of Animals cat shelter. I enjoy being able to give back to the community, especially animal-helping associations like this shelter. Cleaning is always hard work, but it is so much fun when I’m doing it for the animals.”

Throughout the school year, PAAC holds collections and fundraisers, both in and out of school, to benefit local animal shelters and homeless pets. The annual PAAC blanket and towel drive was a huge success. PAAC students collected several pickup truck loads worth of donations from the school and surrounding Palmerton community. Donations included blankets, sheets, pillowcases, towels, cleaning products, paper products, pet food, treats and toys. This was PAAC’s biggest collection since the club’s inception.