Planting and Pet Persuasion: Doubling Our Volunteering Efforts

What do planting onions and cute kitties have in common? Normally these two don’t go together, but recently, Globe University-La Crosse faculty and staff enjoyed time volunteering at both the Kane Street Community Garden and the Coulee Region Humane Society.

Kane Street Community Garden

One group of employees spent time in La Crosse touring, learning and getting some dirt on their hands at Kane Street Community Garden. Financial Aid Manager Angie Guderian enjoyed digging in the dirt.

Stephanie Donovan and Angie Guderian planting onions

“My favorite part of community service day was being outdoors and literally getting our hands dirty,” she said.

Angie also noted the importance of creating lasting connections in the community. “I loved the enthusiasm that Kane Street Community Garden had for us. They are excited for us all to come back!”

Additionally, the volunteers assisted with planting seedlings and many rows of onion plants. The vegetables planted, as well as potatoes, lettuce, garlic, radishes and more are harvested and made available free of charge through The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse.

According to their website, over 250,000 pounds of fresh, organically grown vegetables have been distributed to La Crosse area residents since the garden’s beginnings in 1998.

Globe volunteers were encouraged by Garden Coordinator Todd Huffman to return to water and weed the onion plants, as well as take some home to sample.

Instructor Rhonda Staats was even able to sample a tiny radish. “What I liked was planting seeds,” Rhonda said. She also mentioned that volunteering gave colleagues an opportunity to connect.

“The chance to get out of the building and talk and catch up with colleagues, of course, was the favorite thing of all,” she said.

Coulee Region Humane Society

Another group of Globe faculty and staff were able to help out at the Coulee Region Humane Society (CRHS), where they had a busy morning of play and work.

Of course everyone loves the cute and playful pups and kittens at CRHS, but not everyone enjoys what comes with; cleaning up after the animals. Globe volunteers cleaned out kennels and dog runs, entertained some cats, and assisted CRHS staff with a yard sale.

Business Program Chair DeAnn Perzel spent some time in the cat room. Aside from playing with the cats, she praised CRHS for their hard work.

DeAnn Perzel was convinced to adopt this cutie!

“I thought it was a great opportunity to help an organization that does so much good for the animals in our community,” she said.

“All the staff was very appreciative of our help, and they were very willing to tell the cats’ ‘stories’.”

The CRHS did such a good job relaying the cats’ stories, that DeAnn is in the process of adopting the cat pictured with her, Orchid. Soon Orchid will have a new home, and DeAnn, a new companion!

Not only did our faculty and staff enjoy the fun of interacting with the animals, they also recognized the benefits of volunteer work. “It felt very good to give back to a great organization that works so closely with our campus,” DeAnn said.

Globe University instructor, Judy Graf, was surprised at the size of CRHS and how many animals they served. “I enjoyed seeing all that goes into making their organization flow so smoothly,” Judy said.

“I never realized how large their facility was nor the number of people needed to keep it functioning,” Judy also noted that seeing the inner-workings of the organization was surprising. “I certainly have a greater appreciation for the service they provide to the community.”

CRHS is continually looking for additional volunteers. According to their website, “Volunteers help us provide the best possible care for the animals at all times.”

CRHS’s website also noticed that volunteers can help increase an animal’s chances of adoption. “It’s very important for shelter animals to get as much human attention as possible and our volunteers provide that.”

Globe University-La Crosse faculty and staff wish to thank both the Kane Street Community Garden and the Coulee Region Humane Society for allowing us to help out. We look forward to next year!