Students from Georgia Perimeter College volunteered to help SNAP clean our adoption center at the Howell Mill Road PetSmart as part of a volunteer service program in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Ten students and their GPC faculty site coordinator participated in the event, along with Kyla Jones, SNAP Founder and Executive Director. The volunteer program is designed to help students learn the value of community service and to gain experience donating their time and talent to others.
For the past two years, SNAP was chosen as one of the organizations across the Atlanta-metro in which students can provide service to a non-profit organization and assist the community to meet critical needs.
“I enjoy seeing the civic growth in students provided by the MLK SNAP service event each year,” said Professor Tamra Ortgies-Young.
“Students are able to become aware of a community problem, learn about humane interventions to address the problem and practice community service, which is a vital part of citizenship. Most importantly, the students have fun along the way!”
In addition to helping SNAP spring clean their adoption center, the day consisted of three other events. Students learned about the important issue of feral cat overpopulation, the causes of the problem in North Georgia and other areas, and efforts by SNAP and other groups to design and manage humane programs to address the issue.
Best of all, students were given the opportunity to play with the kittens & cats and learned through hands-on experience about the importance of socializing pets through play. Naturally, the time with their new furry friends turned out to be the highlight of the day.
And finally, while students played with the feline adoption candidates, they worked as a group to engage in reflection exercises to tie their service experience to the legacy of Dr. King’s commitment to social change through nonviolence. Critical reflection allows students to make a connection between learning about service and one day making a difference in their community.
“You can see from the video that the students had a great time and learned about how pets are socialized through play. Student engagement inspired by active, collaborative and community-based learning is part of GPC’s quality enhancement plan and serves the college mission of preparing students in their role as global citizens. And what’s more engaging than playing with kitties?” Ms. Young said.
For their efforts, students received a GPC t-shirt, a better understanding of an important community problem, some volunteer experience, and in some cases earned extra credit for their courses.
“The students had a great time, learned a lot, and SNAP is grateful, of course, not only for all the help, but for the opportunity to reach out to these young men and women and educate them on the important work of helping manage feral cat populations in Georgia,” said Ms. Jones. “It’s a significant issue affecting thousands of cats in Georgia and an important initiative to humanely control these stray and abandoned cat populations.”
The ongoing collaboration between SNAP and GPC is the kind of educational and community engagement between non-profits and colleges that serve both the core mission of GPC and the SNAP mission of education and community outreach.
What to learn more? Contact SNAP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SNAP is a non-profit 501c3 animal rescue organization dedicated to rescues, adoptions and spay and neutering programs for Atlanta-area pets. See more about us here or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates on SNAP people, pets and adoption news.
Originally posted February 14, 2014.