From Donations… to Furry Friends… Pennypack Pays it Forward

If you are wondering if your younger children are old enough to participate in community service projects, all you have to do is take one look at a group of fourth graders from Pennypack Elementary, and there’s your answer…

4th Graders from Pennypack Elementary School in Hatboro-Horsham PAYES!

These enthusiastic ten year olds are participating in the Impact LIVE Leadership Program, and are positively changing the Hatboro-Horsham community one donation at a time…but more than that, they are going above and beyond, in a very creative green way, to help a local pet store find dogs a loving home.

The primary focus of the Impact LIVE program is to inspire students of all ages to think beyond themselves and consider how they can organize, promote and host a collection drive event at their school to help families and children in crisis. As part of the program, the Pennypack students had the opportunity to take a field trip to the Hatboro store, for a behind-the-scenes tour, and an orientation; which taught the eager minds how donating diverts items from landfills, and is actually another form of recycling.

Pennypack students in front of Hatboro Impact Thrift Store

The students were excited to learn the various ways their generous donations will be “recycled” into cash to support the 16 locally-based charities Impact Thrift financially supports.

Just when it seemed like the morning with the students couldn’t get any better, the fun was kicked into overdrive. The students participated in an upcycling project where they learned how to make super cool dog tug toys from donated fleece blankets, sweatshirts and t-shirts.

By braiding strips of fabric cut from the donated items, the children were able to transform what was once a used good, and put it to good use! Not only did the students have a chance to learn a new craft, they raved about wanting to make more dog tug toys for their own pets, or for Christmas gifts for the pets of family members and neighbors.

A local pet store in Feasterville immediately fell in love at first sight when they saw the personalized upcycled dog toys that the students made, and decided to use the toys as give-aways to anyone who takes a dog home during an adoption event in partnership with an animal rescue organization.

From donations… to adoptions… Pennypack Elementary School pays it forward to benefit both the Hatboro and Feasterville communities at large.

We all could take a lesson from the students at Pennypack Elementary. If you’ve got a puppy who loves to play tug-of-war, take your fleece scraps and make him an easy-peasy rope toy…

Here’s how!

Gather some fleece from old sweat pants, sweatshirts or blankets. Cut the fleece into three 3-inch by 40-inch strips. Cut right across shoulder and side seams – they add texture to the toy! For a large dog, you might want to double up and cut 6 strips.  That’s it!

Mix and match your different colored strips to make a colorful toy.

Holding all three (or six) strips together, tie them in a knot at one end. Begin to braid the long strips of fleece. If using six strands, hold the strands together in sets of two while you are braiding.

Make a basic braid by pulling the left-most strand over the center strand and tug tight. Next, pull the right-most strand over the now center strand  and tug tight. Continue braiding in this manner, braiding the fleece as tightly as possible for a sturdy toy. An easy way to get a really tight braid is to put the knot between your knees and keep braiding. Braid until the toy is slightly longer than your desired length and tie the other end in a knot.

finished braided dog toy upcycle from old sweatshirts and tshirtsTrim the ends of the fleece and your toy is finished! If you’d like to give your pal another place to grab on to the braids, just tie a few knots in the finished braid.

Daisy plays with her new tug toyHave fun playing with your furry friend! And remember, the toy is washable, so when it gets slobbery and gross, you can just revive it with a good washing and drying.

Click here for a printable version of this project! (It is the first on the list of pdfs on Impact Thrift Stores “For the Home” page.)


~ post by Tamika Miller

2 Responses to From Donations… to Furry Friends… Pennypack Pays it Forward

  1. Anissa McCloud says:

    What a wonderful idea!!! The first thing we brought was a tug toy. Sandy, our newly adopted puppy really loves to play with it. A tug toy is a must have. Great job guys!

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Heaven’s Treasures was organized in December of 2016 with a mission of operating a chain of retail stores that will allow second chance employment, financially support charities and give affordable shopping experiences to the greater community while keeping with its corporate purpose, to glorify God throughout the community and world in which we live and work. In February 2017, they acquired Impact Thrift Stores Hatboro and Bristol locations. On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Impact Thrift Stores in Feasterville, Montgomeryville and Norristown will also become Heaven’s Treasures Thrift and Value Stores!
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