Junior Lauren Collins beamed after checking the Cause 4 Paws donation box in South’s front office for Orphans of the Storm, a local animal shelter, ecstatic from the community’s generous contributions. As the president of Cause 4 Paws, a club that raises money and awareness for animals in need, Collins said that all club members share her passion for helping animals in shelters.
Collins explained that Cause 4 Paws strives to bring awareness to animals in shelters through interactive club meetings, bake sales and donation drives. She added that it is very fulfilling to see the results of the club’s work.
“My favorite thing about the club is seeing how many donations there are [donation box located in the front office],” Collins said. “I loved visiting the shelters before [C ovid-19] and being able to see how happy we’re making the animals there that need these things. [It makes us] feel really good about it, and that’s what our club is all about.”
Junior Sabina Kurkowska, a first-year member and vice president of the club, has a passion for all animals. She explained that Cause 4 Paws allows her to be part of a community of like-minded people who want to help animals. As a dog owner herself, she is dedicated to assisting animals in need.
“Having a dog of my own and seeing how cute they are and just having a companion overall really created a soft spot for me in terms of animals,” Kurkowska said. “[It] also helped me realize that every animal deserves love and a nice home.”
Elena Shyman, Behavior Intervention Specialist and sponsor of Cause 4 Paws, emphasized her passion for helping animals against cruelty of all kinds. She said that every animal deserves to live in a happy, supportive environment, and the club aims to bring attention to that idea.
“Cause 4 Paws really cares about supporting shelters and making sure that all the animals go to good homes,” Shyman said. “All the students are really involved and come up with wonderful ideas to give back to the community.”
During meetings held every other Tuesday, Cause 4 Paws members share their adoration of animals in need, Collins explained. Meetings also allow members to plan donation drives and even make blankets to donate to local animal shelters.
“Our club isn’t just about raising money,” Collins said. “We also do fun activities and we try to make sure everyone feels included. We want everyone to feel like they are a part of the club and we try to get to know everyone.”
Kurkowska said she helps Collins with planning and advertising for events in her role as vice president of Cause 4 Paws. She attends meetings over Zoom and ensures that the activities are relative to the club’s main focus—helping animals in need—in fun and creative ways.
“One time, we did a dog origami craft and another time, we baked pet-friendly cookies for those who had pets or those who knew people with pets,” Kurkowska said. “[Our activities] vary, but we try to keep it interesting over Zoom.”
Junior Veronika Gliwa contributes to the club as the publicity manager, keeping the social media active and getting more students involved. She said that she initially joined looking to participate in a service club and enjoys her time collaborating with other students while also sharing her admiration for animals.
“We’re all open to new ideas, which is great,” Gliwa said. “Anyone [is welcomed to] be involved and make decisions. It’s a collaborative effort, so everyone’s voice is heard.”