Doing Good Together May 2008 Newsletter

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Doing Good Together Newsletter )
Helping strengthen kids and communities through family volunteerism... May 2008
in this issue
  • Nurture an Animal that needs a Home
  • Share the World
  • Inspiration
  • Family Story- Furry, Feathery Foster Friends
  • News From DGT

  • Teaching children to treat animals with respect can turn into a valuable lesson about compassion and caring. Whether you're a pet owner or not, talk about animals when you visit an animal shelter or walk through your local park. What might scare them? What are their needs? For some firsthand experience, you might volunteer with animals-either formally at the local shelter, or by helping out your elderly neighbor with pet care. Or, if your family is ready for an even bigger commitment, read on!

    Jenny Friedman, Executive Director

    Nurture an Animal that needs a Home
    Pets 911

    Make a Difference...
    Can't get enough cuddling and petting in your day? You may want to consider becoming foster parents for animals. Your family would provide a temporary (a few days to a few months) home for animals that require special attention because they are very young, sick, or because the shelter has limited space. This job requires time, energy and patience, but the rewards are enormous (read our Family Story ). Be sure to ask which supplies and services (food, vet care, etc.) the shelter provides and which you will need to contribute. And always remember to supervise interactions between foster animals and young children. Call your local shelter to learn more about this rewarding activity.

    Photo: Pets 911

    Share the World
    National Geographic Kids

    Talk About It...
    Teaching children about kindness to animals can help develop empathy. It can encourage kids to think about another living being's feelings and to consider the effects of their actions. Here are ideas from Share the World, a program that educates children to better understand animals.

  • Talk about the importance of showing respect for all living creatures. Speak out when you see animal cruelty.
  • Share with your children some of the amazing characteristics that animals possess. For some fun facts, visit the National Geographic Kids website.
  • Discuss the many wordless ways animals show their feelings - pain, hunger, excitement, loneliness. Ask your children how those emotions and responses are similar to their own.
  • Learn About It...
    Share the World offers a sweet video with fascinating footage of animals in the wild, from beavers to snow monkeys. The video emphasizes what these creatures have in common with us, but also the complex characteristics that surpass our human abilities. The video is available to watch free online with your children.

    Photo: National Geographic Kids


    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

    Mahatma Gandhi

    Family Story- Furry, Feathery Foster Friends
    The Laurence family

    When the family dog died, the Laurence family went to the Animal Humane Society in search of a new pet. You might say they found several. In the last nine years, Judi and Roger Laurence and their three daughters have been a volunteer foster family to some 300 animals, including birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and rats. (This past April, the now-teenage daughters Robin, Diane and Cara had their hands full caring for three mother rats with their 30 babies.)

    Typically, the Laurences' main responsibility is to handle and cuddle the animals frequently so they may become well-socialized pets for families that eventually adopt them. In addition, they help care for mother and baby animals from gestation to delivery. Besides great fun, this may also involve hand-feeding the babies. Multiple times, Judi and the girls have taken turns nursing new kittens every two hours, even through the night. Similar dedication is required when a foster animal is recovering from an illness.

    Photo: The Laurence family

    Read Full Story

    News From DGT

    DGT is now working with the St. Paul Pioneer Press to offer weekly family volunteer opportunities through its new website for Twin Cities parents, Check it out!


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