Saturday, December 21, 2013

Week 16: A visit from Herc and Donation Drop-Off (Round 1)!!

What an incredible week for Project R.E.A.C.H. students!

On Monday, December 16, we had two AMAZING guests, Ms. Terry and Hercules, who are both animal advocates who stand up to animal cruelty.

They even have their own Facebook page:

 If you don't know Hercules' story, Herc was the victim of abuse and cruelty, nearly starved to death, kept in inhumane conditions, and was injured by his previous owner. He was found in a basement in Deptford township, NJ, weighing a mere 38 pounds.

Herc's recovery is ongoing, over a year later, but thanks to the caring folks at NJSPCA, Gloucester County Animal shelter, the staff at Delaware Valley Animal Hospital, and more importantly, the tender loving care of his adoptive mom, Ms. Terry, Hercules is playful, loving, and has a wonderful life ahead of him. Although he is timid and untrusting of humans when he first meets them (due to the way he was treated by unkind humans), Hercules loves everyone and once he knows you won't hurt him, you've found yourself a new best friend! Now, Hercules attends events and visits schools to tell his story and to spread awareness about animals in need and the importance of standing up to animal cruelty.

To prepare for the arrival of our special guests, the students designed questions that could be asked after Ms. Terry's presentation. There was a lot of interest in Herc's "favorite" things, his costumes (he is a very well dressed furry family member) :), and other information about adoption and the conditions he had to face. Ms. Terry then brought Hercules around to meet all of the R.E.A.C.H.ers. Ms. Terry explained that we were all helping Hercules by meeting him, petting him, and caring for him, because that socialization helps with his recovery and to help him understand that not all humans are untrustworthy and mean-hearted.

It was awesome to be able for the students to meet Ms. Terry, who is an amazing human being and a fantastic role model, as well as a wonderful mom to Hercules. She reminded us that we all can help animals in need and it doesn't matter how old you are-we can all help! :)

I can't thank Ms. Terry and Hercules enough for taking time to visit Daretown School and share their story with Project R.E.A.C.H. It was an awesome experience and we were sad to see them go!

Additionally, this week wrapped up our "Bow Wow and Meow Holiday Giving Drive," as well as our "Warm and Fuzzy Towel and Blanket Drive." All I can say is-WOW! We are so very thankful for all of the kind-hearted people who donated to our drive to benefit animals in need!! Mr. Sears and I dropped off R.E.A.C.H.'s first set of donations to Salem County Humane Society on Friday, December 20th.
Leashes, collars, cleaning supplies, food, treats, and other donations were piled up in our classroom!! What an amazing feeling!!
Here's another angle to check out the massive amount of donations received....and that wasn't everything! 
Here was a poster the students made and signed to give to the Salem County Humane Society.
The donations were so very appreciated and will certainly be put to great use at the Salem County Humane Society. :)

Over the next few days, I will be taking the remainder of the donations to other local shelters and will post about them as well!! :) I have to say, I am brought to tears by the kindness and compassion exhibited by the many donors and R.E.A.C.H. supporters, all of whom believe so deeply in the work my students are doing. The spirit of giving is something so uplifting and empowering and I thank each and everyone of you for providing my students with the opportunity to experience it.

I thank each and every one of you for believing that together, we can all make a difference.

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