A resident from Livingston found out that toys can comfort animals at the shelters. After this discovery, she decided to work with former students from her elementary school and create numerous toys or animals living at the Livingston Animal Center and the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter.

Carolina Lopez, a senior at Livingston High School, discovered that toys can mentally stimulate shelter animals and even help them relax in their environment.

After she received the Girls Scouts Gold Award, she researched solutions to this particular problem as part of her Gold Award Take Action Project. She also came up with a plan to raise awareness for improving the life of animal shelters, increasing adoption rates, and promoting community service among children.

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Lopez taught students at the Collins Elementary School how to make braided fetch toys for dogs and pompom cat toys. Since then, they have been distributed at two different shelters. She also made instructional sheets for the Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in order for others to learn how to create these toys.

But, her main goal is to inspire the next generation to take part in volunteer organizations. After research, Lopez found out that early involvement in volunteer organizations can make young people continue helping the community as adults.

Natasha Hemmings, who is the CEO of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, is praising Lopez’s Gold Award project. She said it was a fun project that will help shelter animals and educate younger generations about the rewarding benefits of helping their community at the same time.

Hemmings also noted that Lopez used the skills she’s learned by being a Girl Scout and perfectly applied them to make the world a better place to live.

Lopez has been a member of GSHNJ Troop 32030 for the past 12 years. She described the Girl Scout Leadership Experience as a  place where girls can learn new skills, lessons, and strengths.

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