Group 'creatively cares' for people, pets and planet

March 1, 2012 3:46:36 PM PST
What started as play dates for children turned into a full-fledged non-profit group that creatively cares about helping others.

Every month, Creatively Caring gives kids a chance to participate in community service. Ann Hoffman founded the group about a year ago to teach her children the importance of giving back.

At this Creatively Caring get together at Barbara's Bookstore in Glenview, Ill., children learned about the 300 cats available for adoption at Tree House Humane Society, a cage-free, no-kill shelter for stray and abandoned cats.

"We love the opportunity to get out into the community and talk about the mission of Treehouse and we especially love being able to get that information out to children," Donna Riley said.

The children also got to help make catnip for the animals.

"I really have a love for animals and I think it's great that I can help some of the living things that I love," Eliot Klus, 8, said.

Each month, Creatively Caring brings in a different organization.

"I was a stay-at-home mom. I was used to working. I was a teacher and I felt like I needed to do something more and I wanted my kids to grow up knowing there's more than just playing. We have to do something to feel good about ourselves and to help others," Hoffman said.

Hoffman's finding many other parents share that point of view.

"I have two children that are 8 and 4 and it's really important for them to learn about giving back to their community. I was having a hard time finding any place that could bring my children to and they can volunteer or could really have an impact on the community," Colleen Klus- Salisbury said.

Creatively Caring events are free and open to families with children of all ages. Their service always benefits people, pets or the planet. Find out about the next event or suggest a charitable organization visit . To learn more about Tree House or Barbara's Bookstore, visit or, respectively.