A shared passion for animals and some healthy competition benefit homeless pets

Destination Imagination (DI) is a nationwide, volunteer-led nonprofit organization that hopes to inspire students to become leaders and innovators by working with one another and problem-solving different challenges. DI did more than bring teams together to compete creatively for Denver’s Slavens Elementary School. The extracurricular activity also motivated students to help the Dumb Friends League.

While not a DI-sanctioned challenge, the Slavens DI team had a shared passion for animals and requested a behind-the-scenes tour of the Quebec Street Shelter to learn how the League functions. Something as ordinary as seeing the League’s laundry room (which is, of course, on a larger scale than the average home) resonated with the kids. Students were in awe of the amount of laundry needed to care for and maintain the health of the homeless pets and animals at the shelter, and they wanted to help—although, not in the actual doing of the laundry. Instead, the Slavens DI students decided to host a donation drive.

The DI team challenged the Slavens kindergarten through eighth-grade students to see which grade could collect the most towels and blankets for the League. (Clearly, the volume of those items used made quite an impression on the kids!)

“The children were extremely passionate about helping homeless pets by providing comfortable bedding for them to sleep and rest,” said Amanda Kludasch, humane education manager.

In total, the school-wide drive yielded two large carloads filled with towels and blankets for the animals at the Quebec Street Shelter.

“I’d love other schools to consider this donation drive challenge between grade levels as well.” Said Kludasch. “We would be happy to come to the school and provide a lesson as well.”

Way to go Slavens Elementary!