Girl Scouts of Nassau Upcycle T-shirts to Make Toys for Dogs in Shelters

girl scouts
Cookie, a Town of Smithtown Animal Shelter resident, playing with pullies made by the Scouts.

When the girls in Central Park Service Unit of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County found themselves with 300 misprinted T-shirts with an extra “S” on them, they put their training to work and came up with a plan. 

Rather than toss the shirts, the Service Unit turned them into pullie toys for homeless animals. 

“This seemed like an easy fix since all you need is a scissor and a few animal shelters/rescues to accept the donations,” says Tracy Gorman, Service Unit Volunteer Manager.  

The timing seemed perfect as one of the unit’s Junior troops, Troop 3400, was in the process of earning its bronze award centered around animal care. A big event known as Pullies4thePaws for all troops and shelter/rescue representatives was planned for March 2020. 

Then Covid-19 hit. Not only were the Girl Scouts not able to meet in person to make the pullies, but shelters were unable to accept homemade donations.  

“With the Girl Scouts completely remote, we decided to make this part of an at-home activity for leaders to do with their troops at their convenience,” says Gorman. “Once the pullies are complete, they are dropped off at a central location and will be donated to several shelters/rescues across Long Island.”

The pullies will provide hundreds of homeless animals with a sense of security, offering them comfort in an often new and sometimes frightening environment. Due to a T-shirt’s destructible fabric, pullies of this nature are best for small dogs and cats, as a large dog is more likely to rip them apart and swallow the pieces. But there are plenty of pint-sized pups and kitties that will soon receive a handmade gift from the Central Park Girl Scouts in hopes of making their stay at a shelter feel a little more like home. 

In addition to the pullie collection, the Service Unit is collecting pet food for the local pet pantry Paw it Forward.   The Central Park Service Unit brings girls together from Plainview-Old Bethpage and Bethpage school districts and will accept homemade pullies and food donations from Girl Scouts and non-scouts alike. If you are interested in making a homemade pullie, you can check out their how-to video here. To help with donations, contact [email protected].

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