Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post
While most of us talk the talk about animal welfare, here are a group of Southwest Side girls who walk the walk. And if they are the future of this part of Chicago, the future looks mighty bright.
Ten of the girls of Troop 20958, sponsored by St. Daniel the Prophet Parish, decided to do something about the plight of animals in need and rally neighbors to donate food and more—which was later donated to Chicago Animal Care and Control’s David R. Lee shelter at 28th and Western.
The second of two collection sates was held recently at Valley Forge Park. In just a few hours, the girls collected nine bags of dog food, three bags of cat food, a bag of bird seed, two dog beds, 23 dog blankets, 40 towels, seven containers of kitty litter, more than 40 dog toys, dog soap and shampoo, food and water bowls, collars, leashes and more.
The Scouts’ good deed is part of a larger effort to earn the Bronze Award, in which each girl has to put in and document 20 hours of community-service work. If all goes according to plan, the girls will be finished by the end of next month.
The girls, all about age 11, are Natalia Canino, Caroline Jagodka, Kylee Graves, Karina Venegas, Moira Wrazien, Leila Leodoro, Abbey Ostrowski, Sophia Villarreal, Itzel Martin and Elizabeth Corral. Most of the girls attend St. Daniel the Prophet School.
“I think it’s wonderful what these girls are doing,” said Clearing resident Jane Sikowski, who made a donation to the drive and who has worked as a shelter volunteer. “Animals at shelters are alone and frightened. What these girls are doing to help feed them and provide them with comfort is a very nice thing. Girls like this will grow up to be good women, good mothers, good pet owners.”
Garfield Ridge resident Tom Barczak, who recently lost his basset hound, Gypsy, to old age, said he was grateful for the drive because it gave him an opportunity to let go of his grief.
“I’ve been holding onto all this [dog] stuff for a year,” he said. “But I figure that by donating her belongings, maybe some other dog—a dog in need—can get some enjoyment or some comfort. I did it to remember Gypsy. She was a good old girl.”
Leaders of the troop are Delia Canino, Melissa Garcia and Delia Guzman.
“The girls working on this project did a great job, but so did all the people who donated,” Canino said. “When the donations were dropped off at the shelter, the staff there was very pleased and appreciative.”
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