The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

The Panther

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MPSH’s PAWS Club Leaves a Print on the Community

Photo Courtesy: The Humane Society Miami

Every year, Miami Palmetto Senior High’s clubs are always striving to achieve what some would think impossible. The most frequently asked question is, what crazy accomplishment will they complete this year?

This question doesn’t leave out MPSH’s Animal Welfare Society club which donated over 360 pounds of dog and cat food, along with goodie bags to the Humane Society for their Community Pet Pantry. This was the largest student-led food donation made to the society in over a decade.

“We just wanted to help and we reached out to the Humane Society and they said well, what can we do? And they wanted us. They had a holiday function last Saturday, and they wanted goodie bags for 60 kids and they wanted dog and cat food donations. So we just did both, our goal was just the goodie bags, 60 goodie bags, and just see how much food we could get to. We turned it into this monumental thing, and when the Humane Society pulled up… [we] filled [the van] from top to bottom,” PAWS Club Sponsor and AP English Language and Composition teacher Loni Perse said.

The club was blown away with what they could accomplish, as this exceeded expectations by a long shot. Perse decided to sponsor the club wanting to make a difference for animals and was pleased with what PAWS was able to execute.

“It’s my third year being the PAWS sponsor,” Perse said. “This is the only club I really ever wanted to sponsor, and I have very strong feelings for animals and especially dogs and you know, dogs that are in shelters. My dogs are all from shelters and I just, I melt. I know and I feel very passionate about that.”

The club has expanded vastly over the past two years, changing the standard around the local area for donations and making the lives of animals more joyous.

Although PAWS has hosted various drives to help stock other shelters’ food shelves, the club’s donation to the Humane Society made an astonishing impact. Alongside the food donations, PAWS club members made ‘goodie’ bags at their club meetings to donate as well.

“It just felt really nice to be able to get all the club members involved and have them play a role in giving all these families food to be able to feed their cats and dogs; they said that we single-handedly restocked it completely and it was really nice,” PAWS club President and senior Dahlia Harris said.

The collection started on Nov. 1 and ended on Nov. 14, and in just 14 days, Panthers were able to restock the Humane Society’s community pantry with over 360 pounds of dog and cat food. In just two weeks, students came together to help create a more than successful drive.

“Last year, we had a pretty good turnout, like we had a few big boxes and I thought that was pretty good. But this year I had no idea it would be this big,” Harris said.

The Humane Society’s community pantry helps residents who have fallen into economic hardship feed their pets at home.

“I was, honestly, shocked when I started to unload the food from our van and into our community pantry. I immediately started sharing this with my colleagues, and we unanimously decided it had been the largest student-led donation made in the last half-decade, if not longer,” Humane Society Youth and Education Planner Walter Aguilera-Valdes said.

In the past, PAWS has worked with other foundations such as Paws4You Rescue and Heel2Heal therapy dog foundation. Most times, PAWS donates animal supplies and hosts fundraisers to make these large-scale donations possible.

“It made me feel really great honestly, because last year we donated to shelters and it was not as big and we still made an impact,” Harris said.

The shock of how much students were able to donate has yet to wear off, with board and club members still expressing their gratitude to the community for stepping up and donating to the drive.

“It was really like the best kind of surprise because we had the donation running for like two weeks but like day after day, people kept bringing in more donations,” Harris said.

In January, PAWS has an upcoming donation to the Doral Animal Services, where they will be donating homemade dog toys and other animal supplies.

Other young members of the community could help donate to the Humane Society by attending their new winter camp, where all proceeds made will go right back to their sheltered animals. 

“Everything matters. Everything you do matters. You can make a difference with even the tiniest of things. We’ve got to get out of our zones. And I think we have a tendency to be very selfish. I think we all do and I think we all need to, not just during this month of December, but I think on a daily basis, we should have to get out of our comfort zones and do things that will help make animals’ lives better and people, in turn, make lives better for people who need it,” Perse said. 

For more information visit their Instagram, @humanesocietymiami and @mpsh.paws

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About the Contributors
Jake Hawkins
Jake Hawkins, Multimedia Photo Editor
Jake Hawkins is a junior and Multimedia Photo Editor. This is his second year on staff, and he looks forward to capturing incredible shots at sports games and other events happening around him. Aside from newspaper, Hawkins enjoys sports, music, films and being with his friends.
Lilianne Fernandez
Lilianne Fernandez, Multimedia Video Editor
Lilianne Fernandez is a junior and Multimedia Video Editor. This is her first year on staff, and she looks forward to putting together exciting videos and improving her writing. Aside from newspaper, Fernandez enjoys going out with her friends and going to concerts.