MUNSTER | Kids and animals just seem to go together.
So when fire destroyed supplies at the Humane Society Calumet Area in early July, the children enrolled in the six-week JCY Camp sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana snapped into action to help.
The campers, ages 5 to 12, raised money to buy towels, blankets, litter pans and litter, dog and cat food, pet beds, cleaning supplies and lots of toys to entertain the animals at the shelter.
Some enlisted family members to donate and shop. Others created their own special gifts.
On July 10, buses brought the 120 children to the Humane Society facility at 421 45th Ave. Several trucks and vans loaded with donations accompanied the campers.
Volunteers, camp counselors and the kids unloaded the supplies onto carts outside the building.
“Some of our children are allergic to animals, so we asked to do this outside,” said Carol Sax, of Homewood, preschool director at the Jewish Federation, which has sponsored the community day camp for 10 years.
“This was such an easy project — kids and animals,” Sax said.
Noah, 9, of Munster, constructed a bed for a cat made from a cardboard box filled with soft pillows and sheets.
“I want to help all the little animals today to make their lives better,” Noah said. “I made the bed to have the cats be more comfortable so they can rest.”
Another Munster resident, 11-year old Nicole, said she’s been a JCY camper for five years and also volunteers regularly at the Humane Society shelter.
“I’ve been volunteering since I was eight. I help the animals have a home here,” she said. “On my eighth birthday, we planned it out so we came here.”
Giving back to the community is part of what the children learn and practice at JCY Camp, said camp director Rachel Sieffert, of St. John. Swimming, sports and traditional camp fun also fill the children’s days from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., she said.
Humane Society Executive Director Rachel Delaney met the campers outside on the hot, sunny day to welcome and thank them.
“The community has been so supportive, and the animals will really appreciate all of this,” Delaney told the children.