Written by Grace Ding
Toys for Pups is a new club on campus, started by junior Emily Spector. Students meet during lunch on Mondays in room C-3 to make dog toys by tying fabric in different patterns to make firm ropes. The toys are then donated to Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a nonprofit charity organization that provides service dogs to people with disabilities.
Spector got the idea for the club after being introduced to CCI by her aunt, who has a service dog. “I was already really passionate and knew a lot about [CCI] because my aunt is involved with it,” she said. “I formed the club because I wanted to try to get more Gunn students involved with charities.”
Club advisor John Hebert’s favorite part about the club is its mission and goal. “It’s very generous to give up your lunch hour to create a chew toy for a dog you’ll never meet,” he said. “It’s good service in good spirit.”
Sophomore Lydia Tsai joined the club out of love for dogs, but has also discovered additional incentive to attend meetings every week. “Making the dog toys with friends is relaxing and helps me unwind when I have a lot on my mind,” she said. “It’s also inspiring, what these simple toys can do to help other people.”
Like Tsai, many other students have joined the club because while they can do something that benefits the community, they can also have a good time and make new friends. “Even though not everybody in the beginning knew everybody, people are always helping each other out and talking to each other,” Hebert said. “In that sense, [the club] has a really good social environment.”
Spector welcomes new members and encourages interested students to give it a try. “It’s a really fun and chill en- vironment,” she said. “If you’re interested in helping a really important charity, then it’s a great way to get involved easily.”