The passion that teens show for animal welfare has led to a new program that helps support their cause and enact change by offering financial assistance. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and DoSomething.org recently partnered to recognize the efforts of youths who help animals by offering 10 $500 grants for the growth of community action projects.
Animal-welfare issues consistently rank among the top interests for students across the United States, and the goal of this program is to empower young people to make a difference in the lives of animals, said Sheryl Pipe, the ASPCA’s senior director of humane education.
The initiative includes a rollout of a comprehensive online resource for young people who care about animals. In addition, the ASPCA and DoSomething – an online community where young people learn and take action on various global issues – will award 10 $500 grants for creative, youth-led, problem-solving community service projects related to animal welfare.
Successful entries should have a focus on the community and have an impact on a substantial number of animals, Pipe said. The sustainability of a project is also important. For example, a project that’s already underway in several communities involves the Meals on Wheels home delivery program, which also incorporates the delivery of pet food for seniors and the homebound, she said.
Applicants must be 25 years of age or younger and a resident of the United States or Canada. Submissions are due Sept. 30 and winners will be announced Oct. 13.
Pipe expects the program will provide grants on an annual basis. “I’m hoping that the offering itself will raise awareness about the importance of working for animal welfare,” she said.