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Who let the paws out? Women’s soccer team gets up close and personal with furry friends at Lynchburg Humane Society

Hannah Overstreet pets cats at the Lynchburg Humane Society

Hannah Overstreet pets cats at the Lynchburg Humane Society

Zoe Waring ’22 has always been a dog person. However, after meeting a cat named Gravy while volunteering at the Lynchburg Humane Society this spring, she had to rethink her preference for canines.

“I think the reason I liked him was he was more of a cat-dog,” Waring said with a grin. “He was so funny. He would put his paws in the food bowl and eat like that, and the next time we’d look over he would be bathing and rolling around in it. He was so sweet and would go up to you and get in your lap.”

Zoe Waring bonds with a dog at the Lynchburg Humane Society

Zoe Waring bonds with a dog at the Lynchburg Humane Society

Waring and her teammates from Randolph’s women’s soccer team spent many weeks volunteering this spring, falling in love with numerous four-legged friends in the process. They walked and played with dogs, fed and gave water to cats, updated adoption profiles, and washed linens.

Assistant women’s soccer coach Aaron Humphreys ’11 led the project. He volunteered at the shelter as a student and wanted to provide the same enriching, fun experience for his players. In addition to the community service, he and the team also plan to host adoption events on campus this fall.

“I’m so grateful I get to share this passion of mine with the team,” Humphreys said. “While we get to help many animals, we also get to meet and know some incredible people. This experience helped me become a better person, and it will do the same for our team.”

Sidney Keyes ’21 enjoyed visiting and playing with the animals—and, of course, spoiling them with treats.

“I enjoyed walking the dogs because it made them so happy to get out of the kennels and enjoy the fresh air,” Keyes said. “Volunteering at the Humane Society enhanced my Randolph experience in that the facility was close to campus, and I was able to get away from the stress of academics and love on the animals.”

A dog eagerly greets Deaven Milam at the Lynchburg Humane Society

A dog eagerly greets Deaven Milam at the Lynchburg Humane Society

For Waring, the project was another highlight of an already action-packed year at Randolph.

“Volunteer work is really important, and everybody should give back to the community in some way,” she said. “I think it’s especially good for sports teams to do it because it’s important to be well rounded. I want people to see me and the team as being invested not just in our sport, but in academics and volunteer work, too.”



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