An after-school sewing program turned into a gesture of community goodwill when Girls Scouts decided to stitch and donate dog beds.
"It was hard making these," said Scout Kymberly Hoyle, 11, holding her bright-red print bed. "I had only sewn by hand before. It was a good idea because it was kind of sad that (the dogs) slept on cement."
This is the second time that Scouts have made two-by-two foot beds, padded with toweling and covered with bright fabric, said Gastineau Humane Society administrative officer Amy Green. "They're nice - and easy to wash," said Green, whose staff deals with mountains of pet laundry.
"Last year was the first time we had this program," said Kathy Buss, membership and program director for the Tongass Alaska Girl Scout Council. "It was so successful that we worked it into the after-school program sponsored by a 21st Century Learning grant. The girls had a choice either to keep the beds or give them away, and they all chose to give them away. I think this goes beyond the letter of the grant and makes it into a community program," she added.
Ten girls from Floyd Dryden Middle School participated: Brandy Woodrow, Marisol Ininguez, Kymberly Hoyle, Sammie Webb, Candy Sims, Andrea Baker, Kim Burnett, Brandi Campbell, Chavi Jones and Diondre King. All are sixth-graders except for Ininguez, who a seventh grader.
The girls presented their beds for the approval of Scarlett, a shelter cat who has volunteered to foster three litters of kittens with another cat, Lola. Scarlett now needs a rest from nursing duties and is going up for adoption, said veterinarian technician Becky Hinman said.
Instructor for the quilting class was Andy Peterson, an Americorps/VISTA volunteer. "It was so much fun," said Peterson, as she snapped pictures of the girls, Scarlett and the finished product. "The kids were so excited about the project. Many of them had never touched a sewing machine before, and they ran for the machines with full enthusiasm."
Hinman said that the Gastineau Humane Society can always use donations of alcohol-based, no-wash hand sanitizer, towels, old blankets, fleece yardage for cat beds, squeaky toys, cat and dog toys, rawhide chews, puppy food and kitten food.
Ann Chandonnet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.