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‘Second Wind’ project becomes a treat for all

Photo by Brandon Hicks

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Hermitage employees and residents visited the shelter to deliver homemade dog treats.

It was a gift from the heart meant for the stomach.
Hermitage Health Care residents recently made hundreds of pounds of all-natural pet treats for dogs and cats at the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter, and on Monday, two Hermitage residents enjoyed the fruits of that labor. They traveled to the shelter to drop off the treats … and spend time visiting with the animals.
The project was part of the center’s Second Wind program.
Hermitage employee Hope Street said the residents worked through the weekends to make the treats, which contain oats, peanut butter and cinnamon and are good for both cats and dogs.
Street and Hermitage employee Derek Stanley accompanied two residents to the animal shelter to deliver the goodies.
“The residents do enjoy it,” Street said. “They like that they were able to do something to help the animals. Some of the residents couldn’t make the trip down to hand them out. They are our animal lovers.”
Shelter employee Wendy Mathes said it isn’t every day the shelter receives hundreds of pounds of homemade treats.
“I think this is the first time we have ever gotten homemade treats for the dogs and cats,” Mathes said. “The dogs loved it.”
Hermitage Social Services Director Michelle Gray said residents take part in weekend activities through the Second Wind program, which helps them continue to give back to the community.
“The residents contributed to the community before they came to live here,” Gray said. “Now they are on their ‘second wind,’ and want to continue to be able to give back. This is something we plan to continue doing regularly.”
Gray said the shelter treats were not the only project the residents had worked on. They also make toiletry bags, with a toy, for children who are placed into foster homes, and made candy for officers with the Elizabethton Police Department and desserts for the Elizabethton Fire Department and the Carter County Rescue Squad.
A future project will be a toiletry drive for travel-size items, like those collected from hotels for the Shepherd’s Inn, a domestic violence shelter.