South Meck students helping shelter animals

01/04/2013 12:00 AM

10/15/2014 4:06 PM

A three-week volunteer session at an animal shelter in Santa Barbara, Calif., has inspired a team of students at South Mecklenburg High School to form a new service club helping shelter animals in the Queen City. Now they’ve just received their charter and held their first service activity.

Jessica Goldfarb, 15, spent a part of her summer volunteering in California at an animal rescue shelter, and decided to take it a step further by deciding to organize a service club with her friend and co-president, Lauren Glaze, 15.

"As much as I enjoyed helping the shelter animals in California, that was a short-term project for me,” said Goldfarb. “When I got back home, I wanted to continue to help, so I called the Humane Society and asked if it would be okay if we started a service club at South Mecklenburg High School to support their organization.”

After Deana Lasner, the chairman of the board of the Charlotte Humane Society gave the 15-member group the green light in late last year, the club held a two-week collection of toys for animals at the shelter last month, their first annual Santa Paws gift drive. The group collected a large bin of animal toys and treats and Goldfarb and Glaze delivered them to Lasner personally.

“I’ve always liked animals and I’ve always wanted to help locally in some way,” said Goldfarb, who owns a cockapoo named Ginger. “I had wanted to start a service club which you can do as a sophomore, and I knew it would help me for college as well.”

She hopes to study biology and the arts at college, but is not sure about where she’s headed to college or what she hopes to do with her degree. “Definitely something in the area of biology,” she said.

For now, the South Mecklenburg students will have to work on the outside of the shelter, raising funds and collecting needed items. Rules permit those 16 or older to work with the animals at the shelter-walking dogs, bathing animals or helping at feeding time.

Goldfarb and Glaze say they are working on a Valentine Day bake sale to raise funds as well as collecting donations through a bin in the main office for now.

“We have a lot to do being new,” said Goldfarb, who lives in Southpark. “We want to get posters up and recruit new members for such a good cause. We’re hoping to help raise funds so the Humane Society can move to a much larger space in Charlotte.”

Conroy: (704) 358-5353

Twitter: ConroyKathleen

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