Cinnaminson High School’s band donates to animal shelter

From May 1 to May 15, the Cinnaminson High School Band is collecting donations to support a local animal shelter called Almost Home.

From Wednesday, May 1 to the night of the Cinnaminson High Schools’s bands concert Wednesday, May 15, the band members will be collecting donations to support a local animal shelter called Almost Home.

The idea came when the band started playing a piece by composer Julie Giroux called “Our Cast Aways.” Band director Deb Knisely and her students began to brainstorm about what they could do to go along with their performance. At first the idea was to collect pictures to display during the performance, but the idea to donate to a local animal shelter quickly came after.

“I met the composer this past summer and I played it with the New England Band Directors Institute Concert Band under the composer’s baton,” said Knisely. “We were able to discuss the piece in depth after the rehearsal, and I knew it was something I wanted to share with my students.”

After learning about the piece and talking about it with her band director, Genna Goins and her classmate, Sade Ford, began to take the lead on creating the fundraiser for the animal shelter. For Goins, the efforts to donate to Almost Home Animal Shelter is important because of her own personal connection.

“I wanted to get involved with this because I’ve always grown up around animals,” said Goins. “My mom is a big animal person. She is the type to stop whatever she is doing to go help an animal. We have also always got our animals from either other people or shelters so I wanted to help donate to all of the other animals that haven’t found a home yet and for the few that won’t ever find a home.”    

According to Knisely, 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year and 2.4 million of these adoptable animals are put down. Those numbers do not include the thousands who suffer in silence. However, due to the caring people who take action, these numbers are steadily decreasing.

“It was really important for us to find a non-kill animal shelter,” said Goins. “Some animal shelters, when they get over crowded, they sometimes put healthy animals to sleep. I felt that it would be more humane to find an animal shelter like Almost Home that doesn’t do that. When we went to the animal shelter, they were very accepting to the idea and gave us a big list of the things that they normally accept.”

The Cinnaminson High School’s band will be accepting dog and cat toys, dog and cat treats, chewies, strong leashes, collars, blankets, towels, paper towels, dog and cat beds, cat litter and food and water bowls. The bowls can be either stainless steel, plastic or glass. The band will also be accepting grooming supplies, brushes, 30 gallon trash bags, laundry detergent and lint rollers Any questions about the donations can be answered on the Almost Home Animal Shelter website under the donation tab.

“We have received a lot of positive feedback from the students,” said Goins. ”I have a feeling that our biggest day is going to be the night of the concert, but I think as long as we get something, our efforts will be successful. It’s one more thing than the animals had before.”

People who want to send in their pictures with their rescued animals can send the pictures to Knisely, at