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A homeless shelter in the city had lots of used, donated toys in their storage room that they were unable to use because they were not sorted or cleaned. We used an eco-friendly cleaning solution and rags to thoroughly wipe down all of the toys and put sets of toys and games back together for the kids to play with. This is a great project if you only have a morning or afternoon available. It's also a great Holiday project, because most homeless shelters receive the largest quantity of toys right after Christmas, when most kids get lots of new toys and donate their old toys.
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Our group went to the Coconino Humane Association armed with donations (towels, blankets, treats as well as donations of cell phones, used DVD players and other specific electronic items to give for their fundraiser-Eco Phones), the makings for Happy Socks and enthusiasm. We watched a video called Bite-Meter (about assessing dog body language that preceeds bites) that we were required to watch before interacting with the animals. We then made up 50 Happy Socks and took a tour of the facility. After that we were able to have some time with the animals-taking dogs out to the play yards to play with them (and cleaning up after them), cuddling with the kitty's, cleaning out their cages and kitty litter and feeding everyone treats. The kids had a great time and the animals got some much needed blankets, towels, time and attention.
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The great news is that the foxes on the northern Channel Islands are recovering faster than anyone had predicted -- so much so, that all the foxes in the captive breeding facilities on Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands have been released in the wild. The fox numbers on San Miguel Island were so critical that in 1999, only 15 foxes were left (14 were captured and brought into National Park Service enclosures to protect them from the Golden eagles). Our group has supported and helped with the Island fox recovery program since 2000 and today there are now over 120 Island foxes in the wild on San Miguel (each island has a separate sub-species). We are very pleased and grateful that our efforts, and those of other Roots & Shoots groups, such as the Malibu Zumers, the Loma Vista Roots & Shoots and the Los Angeles Zoo Roots & Shoots, have helped bring the Island foxes back from near extinction. The foxes on Santa Rosa Island, however, will need to stay in the captive breeding facilities until their numbers significantly increase.
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We added three trees to our property which is a Certified Wildlife Habitat providing shelter and homes for birds and wildlife.
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The first Saturday each month we bag food items at our church to be distributed in the Beach Flat area of Santa Cruz.
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We have teamed up with The Reclamation Project to help restore the area's mangroves. The project is an Eco Art project that is quite visual and telling. We are supporting the primary growth of mangrove seedlings. Mangrove seedlings are long and narrow and are generally buoyant. They float all over the globe until they find a place to grow. Mangroves are natural coastal plants in subtropical and tropical regions and are being destroyed at an alarming rate The seedlings are place in individual cups of water. Each cup is attached to a window using a clear plastic suction cup that also has a hook. There are 100 cups that are displayed in one area. The plan is to nurture the seedling until they grow their first leaves and then plant the mangroves in an area that is being restored. Pictures will follow
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This project was a bake sale designed as a fundraiser for "Tiger Tony" Liu. Inspired by the U.S. China exchange program, our group decided to try to raise money to help fund his trip to Northeastern China this year. He is an expert in disabling snare traps that catch and kill tigers and other animals. Group members baked cookies, brownies and other tasty treats to sell in front of our local grocery store. On Saturday and Sunday we set up a table to sell the baked goods for a "donation only" price for four hours each day. We handed out Roots & Shoots brochures to hundreds of people and had conversations explaining the types of projects that our group does. We learned that this kind of bake sale is a wonderful fundraiser. We didn't expect it to be such a huge success, but we were able to raise a lot of money with very little preparation needed. Donation only was definitely the way to go, because people often donated $5, $10, or even $20 to us. We were surprised to learn how many individuals in our community already knew about Roots & Shoots. Some people informed us that they were already involved with Roots & Shoots in their town. People also told us that they had heard about Roots & Shoots from the Discovery Channel's ROAR campaign.
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Our group volunteered at a no-kill animal shelter to help with feedings, changing bedding, and providing comfort and play time with the animals. We were willing to do a project revolving around animals. We also donated food and detergent, which helped the owner out a lot. We plan to keep returning to the shelter to help out with other things.
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In our town there is a creek that runs through it. We decided to help our community by picking up some of the litter that was in it. On Earth day 2007, we were having a meeting when we wanted a break. We grabbed some garbage bags and headed to the creek for some fun and soon we jumped in! We collected many items such as broken glass bottles, pipes, a chair, a ladder, and an old sign from a local pizza tavern. Now the creek is much cleaner because of us and it is safer to play in. We hope to clean it up again next year!
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I have always been a lover of animals. After moving to the DC area for an internship I felt the need to become involved in the community in some form. I am not allowed to have pets in my apartment and found myself missing being around animals. I researched pet rescues in the area and found Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation. They have adoptions every weekend at various PetSmart locations in Virginia. I have volunteered for 3 hours, for two Saturdays so far. I plan to continue volunteering every weekend I am available. It is wonderful walking the dogs around the store in hopes that you might help them find their forever homes. Many of these animals are saved from local animal shelters who are running out of room and would have to put the animals down for lack of space. Check with your local PetSmart as they support local rescues. Most have a local rescue come to their store on weekends to adopt out cats and dogs.

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