Florence High School (2023)

The class of 2022 Medical Science Academy wanted to develop a community service project that benefited a group that is commonly overlooked. This senior class specifically had multiple students that were interested in going into Veterinary Medicine for their future career. Because of this, the class decided to create their project in a way that focused on animals. A local non-profit organization, Wolfpond Animal Sanctuary, was contacted to determine if they needed any kind of support and a relationship was then established. Wolfpond let the MSA know that they constantly receive food donations. What they were lacking was towels, rags, and blankets and social media exposure for their adoptable dogs. The senior class took this information and decided they wanted to do a blanket/towel drive in hopes of collecting enough for each dog at the sanctuary to have a new one. It was also determined that a day would be set aside for students to go to the sanctuary to help with social media posts.
The senior class started this project by determining that they would be more successful if they involved more than just our academy and even more than just our school. We have had success in the past by involving the other Florence Zone schools so the principals at those schools were contacted and agreed to help. Some seniors also contacted 2 local church youth groups that they were a part of and got them on board too. Lastly, they wanted the entire community to help if they wanted so City Hall was contacted and agreed to help as well. Other academy members got involved with helping to make boxes that would be delivered to each of the participating locations for blanket and towel drop offs. The senior class created flyers to post at all locations, pass out to students at all schools and share on social media. The beginning stages of the project focused more on getting the blanket/towel donations started. Once that had been set up, students wanted to focus more on promoting the Wolfpond Animal Sanctuary so they started the “Adopt, Don’t Shop” campaign where they posted information and statistics about animal adoption on social media.
The campaign ran from March 1 through March 18. The boxes and flyers were delivered to each location the week before. Social media posts were also started the week before. Once the event had started, the Florence High School baseball team wanted to get involved. They were hosting a Spring Break Classic and decided to offer a $2 ticket discount to anyone who donated blankets/towels. This was great because it was offered to all teams that were participating in the tournament which allowed exposure for the Sanctuary outside of just our community. On March 18, all boxes were collected and the blankets and towels were organized and counted. At the time, Wolfpond had 75 dogs on site and the goal was to provide a blanket to each dog. We collected 78 blankets, 32 towels, and 20 rags. The goal was met and even exceeded by a few.
March 19 was going to be an adopt-a-thon that the MSA would be attending. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the adopt-a-thon was canceled. However, students still traveled to Wolfpond Animal Sanctuary and worked on creating adoption videos for multiple dogs, as well as delivered and organized the blankets and towels that were raised throughout the campaign. The workers at the sanctuary were so appreciative for the donations but more so they were excited to have students make the adoption videos and share them on social media. Raising awareness was something they had struggled with in the past and having help was really expected to make a difference.
When the project was started, the goal was to raise awareness for Wolfpond Aniaml Sanctuary and provide support for them in areas that were normally lacking. The students achieved this goal by collecting more than enough blankets for each dog to have a new one. They were also able to make 8 adoption videos the day they went to the sanctuary. The project was a one year project but it did open the minds of students that healthcare doesn’t have to just be about people. It can be about animals too. The support of Wolfpond would have continued, however, due to health issues of the owner, the sanctuary is closing at the end of December 2022. Seniors from the class of 2023 brought attention to a new animal non-profit called Tru North this year so support is now being provided to them. A project to collect dog food was already held at the beginning of this school year. Now that students are aware that helping animals is an option, we anticipate students that are interested in Veterinary Medicine to want to continue supporting animal non-profits for years to come.