Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Assists Humane Society of Southeast Missouri


Jan. 5, 2010 – The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Southeast Missouri State University collected donations for the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri at its recent holiday lunch.

Staff and guests were asked to bring a donation to assist the local humane society to meet its overwhelming demand for supplies. In all, more than 180 pounds of dog and cat food were collected as well as 12 gallons of bleach, paper towels, dog toys, collars, food bowls and about 80 pounds of cat litter.

Donations to the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri replaced the CIE’s previous ornament swap at their holiday potluck lunch.

 “It was my hope that everyone shared the same feeling I had this year,” said Gina Harper, CIE training coordinator.  “I just couldn’t see us spending money on each other for gifts that we may or may not use anyway.”

As an avid animal lover, Harper suggested that along with a covered dish for their holiday lunch, everyone bring at least one item that could be donated to the Humane Society.   Many attendees brought two or three items to donate.

“I was just amazed at how many responded to me saying how much they agreed with the idea,”  Harper said.  “Equally amazing is how much was collected and knowing that one little, combined effort can make so much of a difference.”

Harper and another CIE employee, Torie Cox, delivered the items to the Humane Society.  Cox said the experience was rewarding.

“I knew how important it was to help out the animals,” said Cox, senior administrative assistant to the executive director of the CIE and former volunteer for the Humane Society. “Knowing that we couldn’t help all of the animals is what’s really sad.”

Harper said they witnessed the relinquishment of two dogs while delivering the donations.  In fact, Harper said that there was a sign posted in the Humane Society lobby stating that 55 dogs had been turned over to the Humane Society in the last six days. 

“As I carried in a doggie bed,” Cox said, “it was snatched up by one of the staff members and given to one of the two new puppies that had just been brought in. As happy as I was to see our gifts being put to good use,” Cox added, “I wish we could have provided more.”

“During the recent economic downturn, humane societies and other animal shelters throughout the United States have experienced overwhelming numbers of pet relinquishments,” said Dr. James Stapleton, executive director of the CIE and fellow animal lover. “Gina had a great idea, and our staff and tenants offered tremendous support. We would like to challenge other groups on campus to consider assisting local shelters during this time of need,” he added.

The CIE supports the University’s strategic priority to advance the region’s economic appeal and strength through the delivery of a variety of programs intended to accelerate entrepreneurship, cultivate innovation and assist businesses.

For more information about the CIE and the entrepreneurial support services it offers, contact (573) 651-2929.