In late 2005 the ARC Westwood Avenue After School staff began calling various nonprofit organizations in the Richmond area to determine the viability of volunteer opportunities for the older children in our program.
They soon discovered one of the best places the children could help others also happened to be right around the corner: the Richmond SPCA on Hermitage Road.
Christina Turgeon, an ARC After School and Day Support Coordinator, worked with SPCA volunteer coordinator, Phyllis Harris, who gladly set up an orientation program for several of our children (Stephanie Leftwhich, Erin Hopkins, Andrew Smith, Frank Carrington, Javon Chalkley, Nicolas Desper and Keith Jones). The children help out by providing volunteer service to the SPCA that includes cuddling kittens, giving the dogs and puppies treats, performing light clerical work, doing laundry for the animals and helping SPCA kennel staff with their daily routines.
The children now visit the SPCA at least once a week and are very eager to help with the care of the animals. "It's really great to see the kids excited about helping and being involved in the community," Turgeon explained.