TUSCOLA, Ill. (WCIA) — When you volunteer at an event or see your child come home from school with yet another free t-shirt, they eventually start piling up. Students in Douglas and Moultrie Counties want to not only help clear out your dressers but use the clothing for a cause bigger than themselves.

Now, they’re starting to collect t-shirts and turn them into dog toys for the animals who need them the most.

“Dogs tend to get bored in the dog kennels,” Spencer Hall, the Douglas County Animal Shelter manager, said.

So, a group of 4H students are doing something about it.

“We’re working with the community, both communities in Douglas and Moultrie counties, to collect t-shirts to reuse them and turn them into dog toys,” Morgan Jones, a program coordinator, said.

It all started when Jones saw a need and wanted to be part of the solution.

“I’ve seen Facebook posts from some of the shelters stating there was an issue and need for more dog toys,” she described.

The shirts will soon be inside animals’ cages and ready to be played with. Hall said they’ll look like “rope toys” can their cats can use them too. She doesn’t see donations like this too often. When she does, it’s a special feeling.

“It’s good to know that there’s people out there that actually think about us out here,” Hall said.

It means a lot to her, and the eight dogs she takes care of in Tuscola.

“It’s good for them to have toys, have something to play with, get their minds off of being in those kennels,” Hall noted.

It’s also a project Jones is proud of.

“It’s a really awesome feeling to know we’re making a difference and we’re doing something larger than ourselves,” Jones said.

Now, she’s ready to watch donations roll in.

The idea has grown so much that now, they’re able to bring toys to the Moultrie County shelter too.

If you want to help out, you can drop off at these three locations below through Dec. 1:

  • Country Financial in Sullivan: 1102 W Jackson St
  • State Farm in Tuscola: 800 S Embarras Ave
  • Illinois Extension Office in Arthur: 304 E. Progress