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posted: 12/7/2012 7:58 AM

Harper employees organize pet food, children's book drives

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Instead of echoing the more common call for canned goods, some Harper College employees have organized two holiday fundraising drives benefiting furry four-legged residents and young students.

Students, faculty, staff and community members alike are encouraged to participate in both campaigns starting with the annual "Santa Claus for Paws" effort, which will help out animals living in Illinois shelters.

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Jennifer Pitek, an administrative secretary in Harper's Center for New Students and Orientation, launched the project more than a decade ago with mathematics instructor Jamie Leinss-Doyle.

Last year's drive resulted in dozens of toys, more than 500 cans of pet food and 600-plus pounds of dry dog and cat food. The organizers said pet beds and gently used towels also are needed.

Donations will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 21, and again from Wednesday, Jan. 2, to Friday, Jan. 18. Drop boxes are located throughout the Palatine campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, including the main entrance and hallway of the Avante Center.

For more information, contact Jennifer at (847) 925-6314 or jpitek@harpercollege.edu.

Meanwhile, the Harper College Library is collecting new and gently used children's books with the goal of delivering at least 1,000 titles to students in Palatine Township Elementary District 15.

The 19th annual Children's Book Drive runs through Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Collection bins are located at the campus' Algonquin Road and Euclid Avenue entrances, as well as the library in Building F and division offices.

Christine Kuffel of Harper's Library is overseeing the annual drive.

"These elementary students are our future Harper students, and we want to remind them of the powerful connection between reading, learning, college and success," Kuffel said in a statement.

For more information, call (847) 925-6584.

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