This week we celebrate #LoveYourPetDay, but last week Advize celebrated the pets who don’t have homes to call their own. Earlier this month we hosted our Happy Hour Giving, involved crafting Valentine’s Day cards for under-served seniors, and a food drive for homeless animals. We first reached out to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, who promptly responded with a wish-list of items for the center’s furry residents (which include dogs, cats, bunnies, and other “pocket pets”). As soon as we had enough items to back a drop-off, we made our way to the Tampa Bay location with boxes of food and toys for the animals. Volunteers were quick to help us carry the load, giving us some time to walk through and spend some time with the cats and dogs waiting to be adopted.

Prior to visiting the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, we worked through their distributed wish-list to help collect the basics:

  • Canned and dry dog food
  • Canned and dry cat food
  • Canned and dry food for kittens and puppies
  • Enrichment items such as durable, washable toys

But what we discovered upon our visit is that the shelter needs some items that you don’t even have to purchase. The Human Society accepts donations of used blankets, old towels and washcloths, and most surprisingly – shredded paper. More specifically, the kind of shredded paper that is “crinkle-cut”, and not cross-cut. The Human Society uses this shredded paper as padding and bedding for the animals, but they need it to be voluminous, and not finely shredded. This means that individuals, and even companies such as ourselves could help these animals. When you consider how many documents are shredded by a company each day – it’s possible that every company could donate a bag of shredded paper per month, and that’s a conservative estimate.

As a healthcare company, we shred more paper than your average business. While documents containing PHI must be cross-shredded (and therefore can’t be donated) for maximum security, all healthcare companies should be doing their due diligence in shredding all discarded documentation. This is a best practice that we picked up along the way, and now we’re using it to help serve the community. Cross-shredding for PHI, crinkle-shredding for old mail, memos, and more.

February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day, but every day is a new opportunity to help an animal in need. If you don’t have room in your home for a new pet, or cash in your wallet to purchase donations, fill up a bag of shredded paper or recycle those old towels that you’ve stuffed in the back of your linen closet. It doesn’t take much to make a difference for an animal in need.