Harper-Based Pets-Only Food Drive Kicks Off

As part of their work to help the homeless this holiday season, two Harper College employees are seeking donations of canned food - and collars, dog beds and chew toys.

The beneficiaries of the annual "Santa Claus for Paws" effort are the four-legged residents of Illinois animal shelters, and gifts like these help keep them going amid a continued down economy.

"Many shelters are taking in more animals because of the recession, but the donations for other things like food and toys aren't increasing, and they're finding themselves in need of basic supplies," says Jennifer Pitek, an administrative secretary in Harper's Center for New Students and Orientation. "I want to do all I can to help."

She launched the project about a decade ago with mathematics instructor Jamie Leinss-Doyle and has seen significant results. More than 600 pounds of dry dog and cat food, 500 cans of pet food and 85 toys were collected in last year's drive.

Donations this year will be accepted through Thursday, December 22, and again after Harper's campus reopens on Tuesday, January 2. The effort wraps up on January 20.

Needed items include dry and canned food, sturdy dog and cat toys, collars, pet beds and towels, blankets and crates.

Drop boxes are located in the Math Lab, Room D105, Building D; the Center for Faculty Engagement, Room D191, Building D; the Business and Social Science Division Office, Room J249, Building J; the Box Office, Room J135, Building J; the Continuing Education Department, on the second floor of the Wojcik Conference Center; the Center for New Students, Room A242, Building A; the Career Center, Room A347, Building A; the Tutoring Center, Room F315, Building F; the Liberal Arts area, Room L203, Building L; the Avanté Center main entrance; the Math and Science Division Office, Room Y103, Building Y in the Avanté Center; and the Career Programs Office, Room X250, Building X in the Avanté Center.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, 847.925.6159.