If your kids are between the ages of 8-15 and looking for a way to help in the community, Greenville County Animal Care has a fun way and will help both your child and the shelter dog! The Bucket Brigade Youth Volunteer Program gives kids the perfect opportunity to improve their reading skills while interacting with a furry audience, and we will tell you how to get involved.
If you are looking for a way the whole family can volunteer, Greenville Animal Care’s Doggy Day Out is a great opportunity! Take a dog for a few hours to the park, hike at nearby Paris Mountain, or walk downtown.
The Bucket Brigade Program At Greenville County Animal Care
The Bucket Brigade Youth Volunteer Program, an animal enrichment program at GCAC, is a great way to get kids excited about reading! The interaction between the animals and the children is also a great way to prepare these shelter pets for going home with their fur-ever family.
If this program seems like something your child would like to do, they will need to fill out a volunteer application and the volunteer coordinator reach out for an interview. Then they will go to a volunteer orientation to learn everything they need for the Bucket Brigade!
Greenville Animal Care is also looking for adults to help the kids during Bucket Brigade times. If you would like to be an adult volunteer, you can contact Greenville Animal Care’s Volunteer Coordinator.
What Will Children With The Bucket Brigade Do?
When animals wind up at Greenville County Animal Care, they usually haven’t come from a situation with many human interactions or positive experiences with humans. In addition, the dog’s history makes them understandably less trusting and skittish in the shelter setting, making them harder to adopt.
Greenville County Animal Care’s Bucket Brigade program seeks to remedy that with the help of local children and books. When a child joins this new program at the shelter, they will use their reading skills to earn the dogs’ trust in residence.
After going through orientation, filling out the paperwork, and paying the volunteer fee a child will have the option to sign up for volunteer time slots. Families will have access to an online portal that will track a volunteer’s hours. If your child has any interest in veterinary medicine down the road, they are required to accrue a certain amount of hours in a shelter setting before applying to college. The hours earned during this program can be applied to that, regardless of your child’s age.
There are several additional volunteer opportunities for youth at GCAC, including reward training, feline care volunteering, opportunities with both dogs and cats, and DIY home enrichment activities for the dogs.
Volunteer Program Details
After you attend one of the orientation meetings, you’ll have paperwork to fill out. Greenville Animal Care strives to be a no-kill shelter, so every bit of funding supports the health and well-being of the animals in residence. For that reason, the shelter asks that volunteers cover the cost of the required items needed by a child to make this program possible. The $25 Volunteer Kit includes a Bucket Brigade t-shirt for your child to wear while volunteering, a name badge, and a bucket for them to decorate that they can use for storage and as a seat.
Things to Know Before You Volunteer
- Greenville County Animal Care volunteer programs often use peanut butter for pet enrichment. If your child has peanut allergies, they cannot guarantee that surfaces will be peanut butter free.
- This is a drop-off volunteer program. GCAC requires parents to drop their child off at the educational building on time. If a volunteer arrives after the group has left to go to the kennels, they will not be able to participate that day
- Children need to wear their t-shirt and name tag while volunteering at GCAC.
- Children will be reading to the often large-sized dogs through the kennel enclosure, and hands-on interaction will not occur.
Looking for more ways to volunteer? Check out these 10 ways you can volunteer with your kids near Greenville, SC!