Pet Food Drive Supports Illinois Shelters

To help the homeless this holiday season, two Harper College employees are seeking piles of food donations - for pets.

The beneficiaries of the annual "Santa Claus for Paws" effort are the furry four-legged residents of Illinois animal shelters, and those involved with the Harper-based drive say donations from can help keep them going strong amid a recovering economy.

"Many shelters have taken in more animals because of the recession, and they continue to find themselves in need of basic supplies, including food," says Jennifer Pitek, an administrative secretary in Harper's Center for New Students and Orientation. "We want to do all we can to help."

She launched the project more than a decade ago with mathematics instructor Jamie Leinss-Doyle, and has seen significant results. Last year's effort yielded more than 500 cans of pet food, dozens of toys and more than 600 pounds of dry dog and cat food. This year's emphasis is on dry and canned food; pet beds and gently-used towels and blankets also are needed.

Community members are encouraged to participate. Donations will be accepted through Friday, December 21 and again after Harper's campus reopens on Wednesday, January 2. The effort will wrap up on Friday, January 18.

Drop boxes are in the main entrance of Building A; the Career Center, Room A347, Building A; the Center for New Students, Room C104, Building C; the Math Lab, Room D105, Building D; the Center for Adjunct Faculty Engagement, Room D191, Building D; the Business and Social Science Office, Room J249, Building J; the Box Office, Room J135, Building J; the Math and Science Office, Room Y103, Building Y; the Career Programs Office, Room X250, Building X; the Liberal Arts Office, Room L203, Building L; and the main entrance and main hallway of the Avanté Center.

For more information about the drive and drop-off box locations, contact Jennifer at 847.925.6314 or, or Jamie at 847.925.3435 or

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159.