Fairleigh Dickinson students are no strangers to community service. From honor societies to Greek organizations, philanthropy is an important aspect of the college experience.

One community service club, however, is putting a slight twist  on traditional college volunteer projects by speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves.

The Animal Rights Club unites students under a common love of animals, and works to promote awareness about animal rights and issues through education and community service projects.

Members will learn about animal abuse and abandonment statistics and how they can change them, and will have the opportunity to volunteer at local animal shelters.

FDU sophomore and Animal Rights Club President Laura Moody was inspired to organize the club after attending an adoption day through a club chapter at a friend’s school.

“Just like most people, I’ve always loved animals,” Moody said. “I’ve also always craved to partake in community service, but never got the push I needed.”

So far, students have shown interest in the new organization.

With over 30 FDU students showing up at the club’s last meeting, the Animal Rights Club has truly showcased the power of puppies.

“I know there won’t be over 30 active members, but for me it’s not about how many members there are,” said Moody. “I want people who are truly passionate and dedicated.”

Moody believes that this “community” aspect of the club will help make volunteer efforts successful.

“People don’t want to do community service alone. If they are able to find a friend to go with them they are more likely to enjoy it and to go more often,” Moody said. “I’m hoping once my members start actively volunteering at animal shelters they will have the desire to take the initiative to volunteer elsewhere too.”

Though the Animal Rights Club was only created this semester, the organization has hit the ground running, having already held successful fundraising events.

The club’s recent chocolate chip cookie bake sale raised a little over $200, prompting Moody and the other club members to schedule another cookie sale for late March.

The money raised by the Animal Rights Club will be donated to the nearby Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter or to the organization Pennies for Puppies.

Pennies for Puppies is organized by The Seeing Eye in Morristown, an organization dedicated to empowering people who are blind by raising and training seeing-eye dogs.

Tonight at 5:30 p.m., a representative from Pennies for Puppies, along with a furry four-legged friend, will be coming to FDU to talk about the organization and encourage students to participate.

As finals approach, the Animal Rights Club is planning a “de-stress event,” where puppies from local shelters will be brought to the university so that both the students and the animals can benefit from much-needed playtime.

In addition to these events, Moody noted that the club will be doing volunteer work with two local animal shelters throughout the semester. Those shelters are St. Hubert’s in Madison and Mt. Pleasant on Route 10.

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