Team Bonding and Giving Back for the Holidays

By: Madeleine Wojtalewicz

The first snowfall always reminds us that we’re amidst the holiday season, bringing an abundance of opportunities and reasons to fully embrace the importance of giving back. While Motion PR engages with the local community all year-round, this year’s holiday volunteer initiative hit close to home for many of us and involved spending time at Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society.

As a team, the Motion PR office volunteered at one of Chicago’s oldest and largest animal welfare organizations, the Anti-Cruelty Society. This wonderful organization takes in more than 4,000 animals every year and has an open door policy with no time limit placed on animals in their care. The organization’s mission is to build a community of inclusion by rescuing animals while educating the public – a mission we were inspired by as avid animal lovers and knowledge-seekers.

The Anti-Cruelty Society offers numerous services, resources, programs and trainings for people who are looking to volunteer, adopt a new pet, or want to provide a newly-found animal with a loving home. Not to mention all of their resources and services are also available to current pet owners who may be looking for some extra help with their pet during a time of ecomomic hardship or bereavement. Needless to say, we greatly enjoyed meeting so many furry friends as well as some of the Society’s incredible staff members.

Upon arrival, our team was given a tour of the immaculate, and large, facility, which has been around almost as long as The Anti-Cruelty Society’s opening in 1899. As we toured the facility, we had a chance to see and interact with many of the rescued dogs, cats and other animals who currently call this place home. Each animal is given their own individual space, large enough for them to roam and eat. We learned that dogs who are brought in are usually kept separate from other dogs that have been at the shelter for a longer period of time so the staff can properly care for dogs who come in unhealthy or mistreated, giving them a chance to learn more about the dog’s behavior. The staff of volunteers work very hard to care for all the animals by cleaning, feeding and playing with them on a regular basis.

After the tour, the team received a tutorial and we mastered our toy-crafting skills! We made a number of do-it-yourself toys for the dogs and cats, including tug toys and cat wands, that help keep the animals busy and stimulated. The Anti-Cruelty Society depends on these behavioral enrichment items in order to keep the animals occupied and happy while they live in a shelter environment. During this time we also made a new friend, Money the Pitbull, who gave us lots of love and company while we worked.

Throughout this past year, Motion PR’s Nonprofit Committee has engaged the entire company in various charity and volunteer projects throughout the Chicagoland area, such as serving meals at Wicker Park’s Marquard Center’s soup kitchen or providing bedrooms makeovers for terminally ill children with Special Spaces. Each volunteer project and charity event gives the Motion PR team something to bond over and look forward to – and this year’s holiday activity was no different! We look forward to continuing to give back to our community in the coming New Year and can’t wait for our next visit to The Anti-Cruelty Society.