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Seniors in Cary have been busy making sure their furry friends in need have the tools to become socialized, happy and ready to meet their forever families. Waltonwood Cary Parkway’s craft class meets weekly to work on different creative endeavors, but during the month of August, their crafts will serve a greater purpose. The residents have been making toys for dogs and cats up for adoption at the SPCA of Wake County. By tying pieces of string and fleece together in an intricate way and adding bells and other accessories, the toys are safe and enjoyable for cats and dogs to play with or chew. The residents meet every Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in the craft room to work on these items, build the bonds of friendship and create something together for a greater purpose.


Waltonwood Cary Parkway resident Lu Mazzu has been attending the weekly craft class since she moved to the community about a year ago. She’s been a crafter since she was a child and first learned to sew, then carried that skill into her adult years where she regularly made clothes for herself, her husband and her children. She enjoys participating not only because of her love of creativity, but also for the fellowship with the other residents that attend. This particular craft is special to Mazzu because the animals receiving the final products have been forgotten about or abandoned by their owners, and these toys will add happiness and normalcy to the animal’s life.


“We’ve had animals all my life, and my children were always bringing different types of animals home for us to care for, but we’ve always had dogs,” said Mazzu. “I know many people who have found wonderful animals through animal shelters, so being able to add something to their lives is truly special.”


Waltonwood Cary Parkway looks for ways like this in which residents and the senior living community as a whole can give back to organizations in the area. Residents have also used their knitting and quilting expertise to provide hats and booties to newborns at local hospitals. They hope that this act of kindness will help adoptable animals find homes faster, and allows SPCA of Wake County to use funds normally spent on these items in other ways.


“We know that just like humans, animals that socialize and play are happier, and in return, it makes that animal more likely to become adopted,” said Leigh Ann Hamby, executive director of Waltonwood Cary Parkway. “Our residents enjoy our weekly craft projects, but especially identify with the greater purpose this particular craft has because it helps area animals in need. Our residents and our community are always looking for ways we can give back to others through activities like this or other resources, and we hope we can spread joy through continued projects like these.”

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