New nonprofit supports children who want to help animals in need

Special to the Sun
Rowan and Mary Jane Hatchett are DSA representatives at their school. The girls have been taking care of animals since they could talk and are now excitedly passing on the message to their classmates that children can help animals too.
Courtesy photo |

TAHOE/TRUCKEE — Dance in the Sun for Animals (DSA) is a new nonprofit organization that helps children help animals in need.

Heidi Timinsky, a teacher with a Masters in Humane Education, founded DSA with the goal of empowering children to realize that they too can make a positive difference in the world through helping animals in need.

Heidi believes that teaching compassion for all living beings is just as important as teaching the core curriculum subjects such as math, reading and science.

What’s unique about DSA is that it’s set up to run as a completely children-powered organization. Children can take a hobby, interest or event that affected them and an animal they care about, then set goals and make a plan to help.

Once goals are completed, children can download a certificate to proudly display and send in their stories, photos and artwork for the website’s “Kids in Action” page. DSA is here to support children in all the creative and inspiring ways they choose to help animals in need.

Two sixth-graders at Lake Tahoe School recently launched DSA. Other students were so inspired that they immediately began planning ways in which they could help animals.

There were many different, creative ideas being tossed around such as holding a bake sale to raise money for a tiger sanctuary; having a garage sale and sending the proceeds to help snowy owls; volunteering at the local humane society, and even using their allowance to help animals in the rainforest.

DSA’s goal is to fill the “ Kids in Action” page on the website with as many children stories and photos as possible, celebrating all of the inspiring and compassionate ways in which children are helping animals. Heidi hopes that a DSA student representative will soon be on hand at every school to guide excited children with their projects.

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