Millions of animals enter animal shelters each year. One way to make sure they all have a good life while waiting to be adopted is to hold a supply drive for your local shelter. Local shelters often need supplies, and people of all ages have the ability to hold a drive. Commonly needed items are food (some shelters only accept a certain brand), toys, beds, towels, and office supplies. Here are some tips for planning a successful supply drive:
- Find out what is needed. Give the shelters a call to see what they are in need of or check their website—shelters often have a list of needed supplies online.
- Select a date. You can have a drive any time of the year, but many people choose to have theirs in coordination with a holiday or event. And with all the holidays coming up, there’s no better time to schedule a drive, so talk to your school or town about putting something together (or just do it on your own).
- Find drop off locations for the supplies. Good places are your school, community center, grocery stores, pet stores, vet offices, and churches. Decorate large boxes and leave them in the places you choose. Make sure to obtain permission from the person in charge before leaving a box.
- Promote your supply drive. If you want your drive to be a success, it is important to advertise it. Make posters with all the needed information (date, location, which shelter is being donated to, what items to donate), tell friends and family, make an announcement at school, write letters to editors, or call the local radio stations and ask them to make an announcement. Make sure to post the information on all your social media pages as well.
- Deliver your collected supplies. Once your drive is over, call in advance and bring your goods to the shelter.
- Ask your shelter if they would like publicity. If so, you can call your local newspapers and TV stations to see if they would like to cover the drive.
Coordinating shelter drives will help support your local animal shelters and keep the animals healthy and stimulated. And planning these events is always more fun in a group, so see if you can get some friends together to help you. No matter what or how much you collect, you’ll be making a wonderful contribution to animals in need.