Holly Teens Serve by Collecting Items for Pets of People in Meals on Wheels Program

Holly Teens Serve by Collecting Items for Pets of People in Meals on Wheels Program

(Lara Mossa, Nov. 18, 2019)

Holly, MI– Jaymin Jubar does not have a cat or dog himself, but he understands the value they bring to someone’s life. Jubar is one of several teens to collect pet food for area senior citizens.

“The families aren’t able to visit their grandparents or loved one as often as they would like to,” said Jubar, 13, of Holly, an eighth-grade student at Holly Middle School. He added that pets bring companionship to elderly people.

The pet food drive is one of several service projects conducted by the Holly Township Library Teen Advisory Board. With approximately eight members, local students from ages 12 to 18 help the library with everything from suggesting what books to stock to programming geared toward teens.

The students are currently collecting dried and canned food for either cats or dogs through the end of the year. Meals on Wheels, a nonprofit group that serves Livingston and western Oakland County, will distribute the items to senior citizens on their routes.

Jubar, who joined a couple of months ago, has posted a flier at his church, Holy Redeemer in Burton, to collect goods. He and his father, Jason Jubar, also have been making wooden shelters for cats and dogs to stay warm outside. They are using recycled pallets from his dad’s work.

A football player and band member, Jubar joined the Teen Advisory Board because he wanted to become more involved.

“I just knew that I wasn’t really active in my community, and I just wanted to take part in something good,” he said.

Meals on Wheels, which is not income based, is a service for people ages 60 years or older; homebound; or have an injury that prevents them from cooking, said Candie Hovarter, Outreach Director for the local group. The organization brings hot meals to area residents Mondays through Fridays. With no funds to pay for pet supplies, the organization has always collected pet food for monthly drop offs, she said, adding that the partnership with Holly area teens was a nice fit.

“I think it’s great when people are involved in their community and do nice things – especially to support their seniors,” she said, adding that the organization encourages senior citizens to keep their pets for companionship. “We don’t want food to prohibit them from having them.”

To join the Teen Advisory Board, students must fill out an application. With members from Holly Middle School, Holly Academy, which is a charter school, Holly High School and even home-schooled, the students meet twice a month depending on the holiday season.

In the past, the board has been involved in decorating pumpkins for the library as well as creating cards and goodies bags for the Meals on Wheels residents. With donations from nearby companies, the students purchased small packages of tissues, hand sanitizers and soap, among other items, for the bags. There are about 80 Holly area residents in the Meals on Wheels program, said Tina Russette, Adult/Teen Services Manager for the library.

“I hope that our teens are very interested in trying to stay connected with the older generation in their lives,” she said.

Jubar hopes to have a successful campaign.

“I think this is needed for the community,” he said. “I know there are a lot of animals around here that don’t get the proper care. It’s nice to have this event happen.”

To contribute, pet food can be dropped off at the library at 1116 N. Saginaw St. in Holly.

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