SBCC student creates new club to help save endangered animals

TORI PIERSON, Channels Staff

The new Arts for Animals Club at Santa Barbara City College aims to raise money to help endangered animals in South Africa by contributing art and hosting fundraisers to raise money for Volunteer Southern Africa.

Club president Victoria Benitez said she has loved animals all her life, and that she created the club because she wants future generations to be able to live in a world that still includes the animals whose populations are rapidly declining.

“I, and I’m sure many other people, would love to live in a world where there are still lions, tigers and rhinos,” said Benitez.  “It would be a tragedy if those animals were to just be wiped out, and with their rapid population decline, it is such a possibility.

“The mission is to spread awareness and to contribute to the conservation of animals in South Africa.”

Benitez has a contract with Volunteer Southern Africa where all the money raised is donated to the organization. The club has a fundraiser currently in place where people can purchase a shirt designed by Benitez and $10 for every shirt bought will go to Volunteer Southern Africa.

The club is brand new and is in the process of recruiting members. Benitez said anyone can and is encouraged to join. The club is looking for artists, or anyone who loves animals and wants to help. It meets at 12:45 p.m. to 2:05 p.m. Tuesdays, in the Administration Building Room 214.

Club member John Shpati said students should join this club if they care about the animals in South Africa, or even if they simply like making art. Shpati said he joined the club because he believes not enough people are talking about endangered species being hunted and poached.

“Spreading awareness is the first step to helping out these animals and making a change,” he said. “The sooner we start talking about it, the sooner we start making progress.”

More information about the club is available on the club’s Facebook or Instagram page.