A concrete floor in a shelter kennel is cold comfort for a homeless dog. A stressed, anxious dog is a hard sell when people come looking for a pet to adopt.
Since 2008, Operation Blankets of Love has been “collecting and distributing recycled and new pet-related items to comfort stray, sick, neglected and abused homeless animals in shelters, rescue groups, sanctuaries and foster groups.” They also have an Emergency Response Team to work with organizations to provide relief and comfort to animals displaced or endangered by disasters.
Hosting an event to collect towels, blankets, comforters or pet beds, toys, crates, carriers, treats, collars or leashes is a fun and wonderful way to support Operation Blankets of Love. With more than 70 drop-off locations, it’s easy to make donations.
Turning a collection drive into a social event with friends and neighbors spreads the word about the need, brings in more contributions, and is a lot of fun. You can piggyback collecting towels and blankets on another event like a birthday party or holiday get together. Whether the gathering is for cocktails, brunch or high tea it’s a great opportunity to help homeless animals.
Here are our __ tips for hosting a collection event.
1. Set your date so there is plenty of advance notice. Your guests will need some time to sort through closets to find unneeded towels, blankets or comforters. Clearing closets and drawers of unwanted items is just the sort of thing people tend to postpone. Allowing a little extra time between the invitation and the event helps get more donations.
2. Send invitations to as many people as you can. Not everyone can or will show up for the social part of the event, but often they may drop off items before or after the event. The more people you invite, the better your chances for a big haul to give to Operation Blankets of Love. Be sure your invitation tells guests what items are needed — what items aren’t accepted (pills, clothes, wash clothes or sheets).
3. Plan refreshments. Finger foods, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, fresh summer fruits or samplings of craft beers, wines or a selection of cocktails are all great draws. You can organize your menu and beverages around a season, an occasion or simply dogs and cats. With a theme you can decorate accordingly: putting chips and dips in large dog bowls for a puppy party, for example
4. Bag up the contributions. Be sure to stock up on last plastic trash bags or boxes to take your donations to drop-off locations. Having donations pile up where guests can see them helps build a sense of accomplishment.
5. Deliver them. There are drop-off locations around Los Angeles, including pet supply stores, businesses, veterinary offices and animals hospitals.
6. Pat yourself on the back. You’ve made a world of difference to a frightened, homeless dog or cat looking for adoptions.