Bate Middle School Service Club collects for humane society

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 18, 2021

John W. Bate Middle School’s Service Club has been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of donations for the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society from their peers.

Huge bags of dog food and stacks of canned cat food, as well as treats, toys, beds, blankets and other pet supplies have been stocked up in Language Arts Teacher Kristen Morgan’s classroom.

Morgan oversees the club, which is made up of four students: seventh grader Lilly Bratcher and sixth graders De’Mauree Bartleson, Mackenzie Elliott and Clark Wilson, who she described as hard workers.

“We’re small, but we’re mighty,” Morgan said.

The club has been taking donations for the humane society since October. The club is working on getting in touch with the humane society to make a visit with the animals and to drop off their donations.

On Thursday, Lilly, De’Mauree and Mackenzie talked about what the service club and giving to animals means to them, as well as the work they’ve done to get donations.

“It feels really nice to give to animals because with holiday seasons, dogs or cats or just pets in general are common holiday presents sometimes, and some of them are sick, and most people won’t want to adopt a sick animal because they think it’s too much work, so hopefully giving food or whatever it is to help them can give them a better chance to be adopted,” Lilly said.

De’Mauree said, “I just want animals to be safe.”

Mackenzie said she’s excited for the chance to get to see the animals at the humane society. “I just like animals,” she said. “I like helping them.”

Helping the humane society isn’t the only idea the Service Club has come up with. Morgan said the club did a schoolwide letter-writing campaign for veterans for Veterans Day, and their next project after the humane society donations will be collecting winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves and other winter accessories for The Beacon Youth Services Center.

“And the kids came up with all those ideas because we talked about it being a Service Club and what service meant to them,” she said.

When it came to asking their peers for donations for the humane society, the students put signs up in the hallways and some common areas of the school, like the cafeteria. They didn’t receive many donations until they worked with Sammi Anders, a guidance counselor who does announcements at JWBMS, to give announcements on behalf of the Service Club — Lilly emailed her.

They also worked with Social Studies Teacher Jeff Gulle, who has a points system for his class. Those with more points get prizes, and the club worked with him to incorporate giving donations as a way to earn points. After these steps, the club got more donations.

“I really like that we got a lot of donations,” Lilly said. “It’s very surprising.”

“I have never seen this kind of a response at a school before,” Morgan said. “I think it’s been amazing, so I’m really excited about it.”