This year our enterprising group of Interns decided to tackle two separate Community Projects. Splitting up into three teams, they worked together with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County and the Friendship APL in Elyria to create an event called “Big for a Day” where the interns and the kids made blankets for the animals at the Friendship APL, and an adopt-a-thon event to help adopt out the overwhelming number of adult cats that have been rescued lately.
The first team was a marketing team in charge of promoting and advertising the “Meet a Friend Social” at the Friendship APL. The goal was to learn how to reach out to the community and get media, community and donation support for the event. The interns were successful! With the help of Executive Director Greg Willey they had an Intern on WKYC3′s weekend program. The intern’s were also able to get PSA’s in local newspapers, over 400 people were reached with their Facebook Event campaign, one intern was even interviewed on WDLW/WOBL, which also sent a reporter to the APL on the day of the event, as did the Chronicle Telegram. On Wednesday, July 30th, the marketing team divided to help cover the events for the day.
The team for Big Brothers Big Sisters spent a lot of time planning events prior to the big day. They had 13 Littles to entertain and encourage for the day. One of the biggest things planned was to make tie blankets to be given to the Friendship APL for all the puppies and kitties to use and snuggle. 21 blankets were measured, cut and prepared before hand so that the Interns and kids could concentrate on fun and bonding. They started the day out with a few get to know you games and a great lunch that the Interns were able to get donated to their cause. After lunch they set up an obstacle course, a bubble station, blanket making station, and an area with balls, mini corn hole or coloring for the smaller kids. The Interns and the Littles had such a great time talking and laughing as they ran, played, bubbled and tied. After all the blankets were tied, all the bubbles blown, and all the Interns worn out they set out on a park wide scavenger hunt. At the end of the day Greg Willey and one of our Interns brought two very happy dogs to visit the Littles and receive the blankets.
The team for the Friendship APL was busy as well. They set up what they hoped to be a fun filled day of adoption filled excitement. The Friendship APL is usually closed for business on Wednesdays and they are never open until 9 PM but that is just what they did for our Intern’s event. The group helped out by holding, walking, and playing with all the different dogs and cats, giving tours of the facility, helping the visitors to find an animal that they might want to make a permanent part of their families, and welcoming all who stopped by to say hello or to drop off donations. With music in the background, face painting and coloring for the kids, friendly Interns at the door and playing with the animals it was a day that made you smile. Although the day didn’t lead to as many adoptions as the Interns hoped, they were thrilled to receive an email from the Director stating that due to their hard work and dedication to getting the word out about the event and the APL they had the most successful two weeks of adoptions in their history. This was especially important at a time when the APL had rescued so many cats that they had temporary housing for them all over the facility. They were able to adopt over 100 Cats in those two weeks! It made the event successful in a whole different way.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County, Big for a Day & Friendship APL “Meet a Friend Social”