Cats and dogs at the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley will be well-fed this holiday season, thanks to the generosity of Radez Elementary families and staff.
A group of students and staff members visited the shelter on Thursday, Dec. 19, to drop off more than 20 stockings full of pet food, toys, beds and more.
Radez third-grade teacher Aimee Ullman has been organizing the donations for the past few years. It all started when she saw an advertisement for the shelter’s “Stockings for Animals” program, through which community members can order a stocking and fill it with donations.
The school quickly embraced the idea, Ullman said. Each classroom, as well as the offices, get a stocking to fill. Students and their parents receive a letter noting which items the shelter needs most, but all donations are welcome.
And the Radez community has been very generous.
“Everybody has been completely on board,” Ullman said. “It’s a school-wide, community project, and the kids year after year are super-excited about it.”
This year, for the first time, one student from every classroom took a bus trip to the shelter in Howes Cave to help unload the items. They carried stockings from the bus and packed the lobby with dog food, cat toys and other assorted pet supplies.
Mary Ballard, the shelter’s manager, said the donations were both greatly appreciated and needed.
“We do take in a lot of animals in the spring and summer, and this really helps us in the way of food, in case we run low on it,” she said. “For some reason, this time of year we’re always running low. This will last us a long time. The community is very generous.”