The loud sounds of saws and sanders could be heard outside the wood shop at Oak Trace earlier this year. Inside, resident Richard Haffner was constructing a doghouse that would soon become a site to bring residents and team members together to help local pets in need.
Haffner put finishing touches on the large contraption and placed it by the entrance of the Downers Grove, Illinois, retirement community. The dog house opened from the top, allowing anyone to donate food, treats and other supplies for PAWS Chicago, a local organization that fights to protect the welfare of animals.
“The PAWS operation is great,” said Haffner, who’s lived at Oak Trace for four years and spends a considerable amount of his time woodworking. “I’m also a great friend of dogs, so I didn’t think twice about helping.”
Over the course of a few months, more than 200 pounds of supplies were donated to the cause. The charitable gesture culminated in a big drop-off celebration, with a group of residents and team members paying a visit to one of PAWS Chicago’s adoption centers to deliver the contributions in person.
This outpouring of support was no surprise to Blaire Goldstein, Oak Trace’s executive director. Goldstein described her community as extremely pet friendly, noting that on any given day, you can find residents walking their beloved furry pals around the 40-acre community.
“PAWS is an excellent organization filled with passionate and dedicated people serving Chicagoland and beyond,” she said. “Philanthropy is not only important to Oak Trace, but to Lifespace Communities as a whole. It was a privilege to contribute to such a wonderful cause.”
PAWS Chicago was appreciative of this effort and the difference it would make. In a statement, the organization declared, “We would like to say the most sincere thanks to Oak Trace. The generosity of people like this is what keeps PAWS Chicago up and running! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
[In photo: Oak Trace residents and team members drop off supplies at a PAWS Chicago adoption center.]