With a sock, some cotton, catnip and a few crafts, Scouts from Marlton’s Girl Scout Troop No. 28515 spent time with senior citizens to make homemade cat toys for a local shelter.
The troop opened shop at the Brightview Senior Center in Mt. Laurel on Aug. 15 with baskets of socks, cotton, catnip and various craft items to work with the senior residents to create toys for the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees.
The girls, who all said they love cats, are also using this project to work toward their Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve.
“We had a garage sale previously to try to raise a lot of money for the AWA,” said Scout Mia Dutkin.
Troop Leader Betsy Veitch said the Scouts had to research their local communities and identify what problems exist and how they can address them.
“Two of our major areas that we wanted to hit in our community were senior citizens and animals,” Veitch added. “In order to combine them, we decided to help the animals by making cat toys, and we were going to work with the senior citizens and make them.”
The Scouts added they all have grandparents or elders in their lives who matter to them, and they wanted to make the residents at Brightview a physical part of their project.
Resident Sally Brotherton said having the Girl Scouts stop by to craft was nice, and they “showed me how to make something I didn’t know how to do.”
“It reminds me of when I was a Boy Scout,” said Brightview resident Bud Crable. “We did boy things with building bridges and different things with wood. It’s nice to see all of these little children working like this. It’s rewarding for me.”
Sophia Barrett, special events and community programs manager at the AWA, said cat toys were ideal for the seniors and Scouts to make because it helps the animals stay occupied in their kennels, and was a perfect way for kids to get involved with the shelter.
The Scouts said their goal is to make 300 toys. As of publication, they didn’t know how many they had made.
In addition to making the sock toys, the Scouts had books they collected for research on cats to learn what types of toys are best suited for them and what can be inserted to make it more enjoyable for a cat.
Following the crafting portion of their project, the Scouts said the books will be put into a “pop-up library” in two of the Scouts’ neighborhoods. They added funds will be used to purchase more books to fill it out.
“It helps bring awareness to what we do at the AWA, and we’re dedicated to building the next generation of animal lovers. And it helps promote the importance of adoption,” Barrett said. “It’s a nice feeling for people in our community to feel like they’re helping our animals through volunteerism.“