Deaf Can Do It Community Service Day - 2014

Motivational message from Sheri Cook, Director of the Gallaudet University Regional Center Midwest

All students in Illinois who are deaf and hard of hearing were invited to participate in the Third Annual Deaf Can Do It Community Service Day on May 1, 2014. This year, the focus of community service was on local animal shelters. A total of 580 students participated in community service projects, breaking the 2013 world record of 560 students as the Largest Group Of Deaf And Hard Of Hearing Students To Participate In A Community Service Project at

Ideas for activities that day included:

  • have a drive to collect supplies
  • bake dog biscuits to sell
  • collect change in the cafeteria
  • invite a representative from the local shelter to speak at school
  • sell donated dog biscuits at lunch
  • make Chex cereal puppy chow to sell at lunch
  • clean up a local dog park
  • decorate dog collars to sell
  • sign up for dog walking or to clean the cages at the local shelter
  • read to elementary students a book about animals
  • build doghouses

Photo albums from the different schools can be viewed below and are also available through these links:
Burlington Central High School
Elizabeth Blackwell School
Forest Elementary School
Illinois School for the Deaf
John Powers Center

Student Activities

Burlington Central HS - Kicked off presentation with handlers and K-9s on 5/1/14 and then a week-long collection drive at all 3 levels (HS, middle school, and elementary school). -- Update: We went program wide, 3 buildings, this year. We raised money for We collected $701.00 to help retired military dogs and retired law enforcements dogs.

District U-46 - The students will be building birdhouses to donate to local forest preserves and schools that have a prairie grass area.

ECHO Helped hearing students learn how to use sign language to sign a song about animals.

Eisenhower Coop - This year we went to the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago for a presentation on animal safety and then we made cat toys and blankets for the animals at the shelter. We also made blankets and chew toys at school before our trip.

Elizabeth Blackwell School - Deaf Ed awareness through selling sign pencils at school. Money will go to Second City Canine support.

Illinois School for the Deaf - Illinois School for the Deaf’s LEO (Leadership, Experience, Opportunities) Club, which is a student affiliate of Lions Club, participated this year. LEO members planned a fundraiser during ISD’s annual track invite held on May 1st. We sold 50/50 raffle tickets and raised $193 for the Dog P.E.N, a local animal rescue group. Founded by Flo Bryant in 1997, The Dog P.E.N. has been rescuing cats and dogs from local pounds for 15 years! They serve Morgan County Animal Control, Whitehall Pound, Roodhouse Pound, and Cass County Animal Control. They are a small group of committed volunteers that home foster as many pets as they can until they find loving homes. They also transport to other rescue groups that have room, such as Animal Protective League-Springfield IL, Pets Without Parents- Easton IL, and Forever Home Feline Ranch- Rochester IL. A total of 10 ISD LEO members volunteered their time on May 1st.

John Powers Center - The John Powers Center is teamed up with Secondhand Snoots and Waukegan Animals Getting Saved (WAGS). Both organizations came to Powers to educate the students on animal shelters and animal rescue. The deaf dog handler from Secondhand Snoots taught how to train and take care of deaf dogs.

Kinzie School - Kinzie participated again this year and helped out 3 different animal organizations by collecting needed items for donation.

NIA - Phillips Park in Aurora. Students and staff met up at the gathering place of the Aurora Noon Lions Club and learned from Dr. Carla Johnson about how she works with her deaf horse named Moses. Dr. Johnson shows horses in competitions and in the video she explains how she communicates with Moses.

NSSEO - Cleaned up Blue Star Woods and volunteered at Wagner Farms and Sunrise Lake Outdoor Education Service Project.

SASED - At North school over 40 students collected 252 items to donate to an animal shelter.

Washington Junior High School participated by collecting over 175 items to donate to Naperville Humane Society and the preschool students at Fairwood made homemade dog treats.

Whitney Young High School (Chicago) - Lake Shore Animal Shelter