Harrison County Career and Technical Center students give back to HSSM

To help spread some Christmas cheer, one school decided to head over to the Humane Society of South Mississippi and provide some Christmas gifts for their furry friends.

Health science students at the Harrison County Career and Technical Center headed over to the Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport to play Santa for all the cats and dogs at the shelter with their Cause for Paws drive. Tenth grader Riley Peleaz said, “A lot of animals get mistreated so we just wanted to do something for them because they really can’t give to us but you know they can lick us and give us love.”

To prepare for the drive, the students collected a variety of items for the shelter including food, beds, blankets, toys, and more.

Last year, the school provided the Humane Society with a truck-bed full of supplies. However, this year they went all-out, collecting a full school bus load of goods. Health Science Instructor Kaitlyn Derouen said, “It’s great. They did exactly what I had hoped they would do, and next year we are going to try to do it again and maybe we’ll get two busloads. Who knows!”

Donations of this size make a huge impact at the Humane Society whose team tends to nearly 400 animals at a time. HSSM Development Director Katie King said, “We’re so grateful that they’re wanting to come back and give back to pets in need, getting their friends involved, and setting a great example to other young people in the community to be advocates to these animals and we are so very grateful.”

The students involved with the drive say they enjoy making an impact on their local community and look forward to growing the Cause for Paws tradition in the future. “You see how unfortunate these animals are even though the Humane Society’s doing a great job with them, but you know it kind of puts it in perspective how lucky we are and how much we get.”

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