Have you ever tried turning unwanted items into something that benefits others? That’s exactly what Sarah Donahue, a current senior at Santa Ynez Valley Union High, set out to do when she began her Gold Award project. By taking sweatshirt and pillow donations from her community, Sarah was able to transform gently used items into pet beds for her local animal shelter.
Sarah began by approaching nearby thrift stores, along with her friends, family, and community members, to collect materials for the pet beds. Not only was this a great way to make the project expense-free, but also to recycle and reuse unwanted items. Through online research, she was able to determine the best way to make the beds.
“The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society did not have beds for the cats and dogs to sleep on,” Sarah said. “My goal was to make sure that all the cats and dogs have a bed to sleep on, along with giving them something that they can take with them when they are adopted. I showed my sister Girl Scouts, family, friends and community members that items we no longer want can be recycled into something amazing for our Furry Friends. These recycled beds can be washed in case of an accident or to be freshened up.”
In addition to the pet beds she completed on her own time, Sarah also held two different events where her Girl Scout sisters, family, friends, and community volunteers were taught basic sewing skills. While the group helped stuff and sew the beds, Sarah explained how we, as a society, can reuse items we no longer want by transforming them into items that can be used by someone or something else.
“Taking a page out of the Girl Scout Law, I used my resources wisely by using gently used sweatshirts and throw pillows to make these beds,” Sarah said. “I made the world a better place by helping our Furry Friends; providing them with a comfortable bed while waiting for their forever homes. I have been considerate and caring by doing good for these animals that can’t really take care of themselves and teaching basic sewing to volunteers.”
Sarah’s project will be sustained by a sister Girl Scout along with her sorority sisters. She also created a step-by-step guide on how to create the pet beds, which was given to the Santa Ynez Humane Society who then uploaded it onto their Facebook page and website. Volunteers who are interested in helping out can easily do so from the comfort of their own home. In total, 31 pet beds were donated to the Humane Society.
“My hope is that my project will bring awareness to people around my community in recognizing that we can all do our part to help recycle, reuse and help those who cannot help themselves.” – Sarah Donahue
Interested in learning more about the Gold Award and the incredible ways Girl Scouts impact their communities? Visit here for more information!