Seeking volunteers....

Isaiah Valentine shows a page from a children's book to a dog at the Mercer county Animal Shelter in this 2018 file photo. The shelter is participating with Comunity Connections for the Heart with a Bark campaign. 

PRINCETON — Writing a check to a worthwhile cause is noteworthy, but a local human service agency is focusing this February on getting people to contribute something even more valuable than money: their time.

Inspired by a grant from Volunteer West Virginia and the Be Kind campaign, Community Connections in partnership with the Mercer County Animal Shelter (MCAS), is promoting volunteerism at the shelter throughout the month of February, Kathrn Kandas, program director at Community Connections, Inc. stated.

The shelter volunteer drive is called Heart with a Bark.

“Community volunteers are encouraged to walk, treat, and provide companionship to shelter dogs – in hopes of providing a ‘fur-ever’ home,” Kandas said. “February is the month of love and who better to share the love with than shelter pups, whose love is unconditional,” Kandas. “We’re excited about this partnership and have already set-up two community service days for youth groups in the community. During month of February, we’ll be doing a lot of social media and media promotions of this campaign.”

For more information, or to set-up a time volunteer, call the Mercer County Animal Shelter directly at 304-425-2838 or the shelter’s Facebook page.

Community Connections is also seeking volunteers for local agencies with the Be Kind campaign, Kandas stated.

The $17,000 grant from Volunteer West Virginia is helping Community Connections partner with local organizations that recruit and utilize volunteers during the B Kind campaign. In 2018, the local agency helped to recruit and place almost 400 volunteers, she said.

“Volunteers are some of the most selfless people,” Kandas said. “They give of their time. It’s easy to write a check, but to actually donate a few hours of your time each week – and in some cases week after week, month after month – to make a difference in the community, that’s invaluable.”

Kandas said that Community Connections has teamed up with the Chuck Mathena Center, Children’s Home Society of WV’s WE CAN child-mentoring program and other local nonprofit groups to help promote their volunteer activities.

“Across the months, we want to recruit 500 volunteers, and I expect to meet or exceed that number,” she stated.

Kandas can be contacted at 304-913-4956.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com