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Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg does service projects in honor of King

Jade Farley, 9, shapes dough into treats for dogs at the Humane Society of Parkersburg during a service activity Friday at the Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg worked together Friday on make toys and treats for shelter dogs and spread the word about the importance of education during wartime.

Each year, the club observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day with public service activities. A temporary closure following a staff member’s positive COVID-19 test delayed this year’s installment until Friday, when students were out of school for a faculty senate day.

Middle and high school club members worked Friday on social media efforts to promote the American Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Youth Action campaign.

IHL is the body of international law governing armed conflicts with the goal of “fewer refugees, fewer civilian deaths (and) better opportunity for infrastructure rebuilding,” said Yuan Uy, project leader and the club’s 2021 Youth of the Year.

The Red Cross project aims to increase understanding of IHL through peer-to-peer activities among young people, with a focus this year on the impact on and protection for education during war.

Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg project leader Yuan Uy, left, and Director of Health and Wellness Mitchell Morris pose for a photo at the club Friday after discussing local plans for the American Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Youth Action campaign. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

“Our future is the kids,” said Uy, a Parkersburg High School junior originally from The Philippines. “I think we need to bring into the spotlight what’s going on all over the world.”

Middle school students were prepping social media posts about the topic Friday, said Mitchell Morris, director of health and wellness for the club. A pair of Zoom meetings are slated for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and 23, with other youth service organizations and groups invited to participate.

“I really think the best way normally to learn about stuff is just sitting down to have a conversation,” Morris said.

Groups interested in joining the Zoom meetings are asked to contact Morris at mitchellmorris@bgcparkersburg.org.

They plan to wrap up the campaign with an in-person event in March.

Emma Addison, 10, shapes dough into treats for dogs at the Humane Society of Parkersburg during a service activity Friday at the Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Elementary school club members on Friday were supporting one of their favorite entities, the Humane Society of Parkersburg, by weaving dog toys out of old T-shirts and making canine treats with a sweet potato/peanut butter recipe.

Jade Farley, 9, said it was one of the best days she’s had.

“It’s messy. And I’m helping animals,” she said.

Josh Dailey, 12, said his experience with cooking has been mostly making things for people, not dogs.

“I baked with my grandma a lot. Baking’s fun,” he said.

Emma Addison, 10, said the most challenging part of the activity was tying the knots in the woven dog toys.

“It’s really nice for them. Most dogs (brought to the shelter) don’t have anything,” she said.

Cyndi Auth, director of programs for the club, said the community provides support to the club so they try to return the favor with service projects throughout the year.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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