Local 4-H club donates blankets to Sacramento animal shelter

Members of the Sequoia Valley 4-H Club Sacramento County chapter on Thursday donated 102 blankets to the Front Street Animal Shelter as part of a service learning project about the needs of homeless pets.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is an educational nonprofit program, conducted by the University of California, that teaches leadership skills.

A youth member since 2007 and teen leader, Kaitlin Kozlowski, 19, became involved in the program because of the hands-on learning and social awareness the organization promotes.

“I have a big passion to not only give back to animals but the greater community,” said Kozlowski, who has volunteered at the shelter for the past three years. “There are studies across the U.S. that shows project like these increase adoptability rates. 4-H is very supportive of that.”

More than 700 young people are registered in clubs within the Sacramento County 4-H program, although 4-H also serves the local school system by offering after-school programs.

Projects are focused on three key content areas that form the core of the 4-H program, science, healthy living, and citizenship, said club member Claire Russell.

Kozlowski and Russell started the animal service learning project last year as a way to educate the community about responsible pet ownership and the problem of animal homelessness within Sacramento County and the country.

They received a 4-H Revolution of Responsibility grant from the University of California, worth $1,000, for their project, “Blankets of Comfort for Animals” with the intended goal of making at least 100 fleece blankets for the animals at the Front Street Animal Shelter.

The club has held donation drives at various shelters and has participated in multiple outreach activities.

“Animal shelters need all the help that they can get,” Russell said.