October 18 2017

Burlington Students Learning About Giving With Pet Food Drive

By: Rich Hosford



Burlington elementary students are learning about the value of giving to others and pets in need are getting the benefit.


Wendi Dellemonico, owner of A Better Way Petting Sitting, has for the second year in a row partnered with Burlington’s elementary schools to participate in the Pet Sitters International’s Hungry Bowl Pet Food Drive that takes place through the month of October. She has placed bins in the schools and invited students to bring in any kind of dog or cat food that will then be brought to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem and MSPCA Nevins Farm in Methuen.


Dellemonico, a member of Pet Sitters International, said she decided to participate in the food drive last year and after being denied at numerous public buildings for the collection she got in touch with the School Department and was given the go-ahead from Superintendent Eric Conti.


“I thought it would be a great thing to do,” she said. “I made two barrels that look like dogs and place them in the schools for two weeks each. The kids get very excited to bring in their donations and some of the schools have tied it into the curriculum about acts of kindness.”


In its first year the program was a big success, Dellemonico said. In total students donated 473 pounds of pet food and this year she is hoping to surpass that amount. She thinks this is possible based on the enthusiastic reaction she’s seen from the students.


“They are very excited to give to animals waiting for their forever homes in shelters,” she said. “It’s a nice thing for kids to feel they are a part of something and making a difference.”


Francis Wyman Principal Nicole McDonald agrees, saying the program fits into the school’s philosophy.


“We really work hard with the kids to promote giving back and being part of community and this is a nice community effort,” she said. “Kids are certainly animal fans so it ties in nicely with the school. They are excited to be part of the effort and are proud of themselves for participating and being part of a generous community.”


McDonald said she enjoys having the program in her school and applauded the organizer.


“Wendi is great and certainly has a nice way about her,” she said. “And I think anything like this brings out the best in kids. It feeds their generous spirit, they are kind and this just helps to reinforce that.


The bins were in Francis Wyman and Fox Hill from October 2 to October 13th. They are now in Memorial School and Pine Glen School and will be there until October 27.


Click here for more information on the program.


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