El Centro resident Alexandria Landa had to hold back her tears when she saw all the animals held at the Humane Society of Imperial Valley Thursday morning.
“I want to cry … They don’t have a home,” said the 16-year-old from El Centro while pointing to a group of puppies that jumped toward her while inside their cage.
Alexandria, an animal lover ever since she was a child, holds a deep love for animals, she said, because “they are so loving.”
Alexandria’s feeling toward animals compelled her not only to help homeless animals, but also the Humane Society of the Valley, which cares for stray animals.
This is why Alexandria and her friend Alexia Banagas, 16, who call themselves “Team Rocket,” worked with their Southwest High School Interact Club to set a donation drive earlier this month to benefit the Humane Society.
And on Thursday, Alexandria, Alexia and a few other members of the Interact Club delivered several bags of cat food, cat litter supplies and cash donations the club gathered throughout December.
“I thought it was pretty successful,” Davis Hitch said about the drive shortly after unloading the last bag of food.
The 15-year-old also noted the Humane Society was surprised with all the cat food delivered.
“This is awesome,” said Humane Society of Imperial Valley manager Devon Apodaca, “something like this really helps out a lot.”
The club’s effort is particularly valuable this year, Apodaca continued, because the Humane Society has been running low on funds while at the same time facing the largest number of animals it ever received.
But the help provided to the Humane Society on Thursday isn’t a one-day deal.
This was the first of many deliveries the Interact Club will make to the Humane Society, said Southwest High School teacher Haydee Rodriguez, who explained the club is committed to help the Humane Society throughout 2013.
The Interact Club, which became increasingly active this year and works with the Rotarian Club, shares the Rotarian theme of “service above self,” said Rodriguez.
And service above self is what inspired Alexia to be part of the club.
“I didn’t have (anything) to do,” said Alexia, “(and) I’m really friendly and sociable and wanted to interact with people and serve the community.”
This community service goes beyond animals though, and will benefit people in the community next year as well.
Interact Club president Lucas Hitch said the club has been helping local convalescent homes and next year the club will continue working on a community garden at Harding Elementary School.
Furthermore, club members have talked about cleaning parks and painting abandoned buildings in El Centro, he said. “There (are) a lot of possibilities, nothing is set in stone,” said Lucas with a smile.
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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