50 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • DECEMBER 2020
WILD THINGS FURRY FRIEND GIFTS BY ALLISON MATOS
It’s been a ruff year, and with the holidays
right around the corner it’s time to
set your sights on that purrfect gift for
your furry companion. Here are some
great gift ideas to help make your pets
howliday season furry and bright.
Here’s a gift idea that’s great not only
for your pet, but also for the environment.
Dogs play a key role in the food
system; an estimated 80 percent of water
usage goes to agriculture, livestock, and
manure management, which are the
leading causes of methane gas emissions.
Concurrently, chicken and beef
are often the cause of allergies for dogs.
To address these issues, women-owned
business Chippin uses alternative
protein — cricket, semolina — to support
gut health and ships their treats
in post-consumer recycled packaging
material to help reduce our carbon pawprint.
Both sustainable and delicious,
this is a win-win for any lucky pooch.
Products, gift options and gift cards are
available online at chippinpet.com
Any pooch would be lucky to receive a
gift that is both adorable and delicious.
Based in Wantagh, The Barking Biscuit
is a smallfamily owned business
offering homemade dog treats with a
cause. Every month a portion of sales
is donated to a new local animal rescue.
With flavors including Pumpkin Bark,
Peanut Butter Bark, Iced Pumpkin Bark,
and Fresh Bark, these treats are sure to
please even the finickiest of pets! thebarkingbiscuitllc.
If you’re looking to please a pet owner,
Randi Schneweiss has just the gift in
mind. A former medical illustrator,
she turned her talents to painting pet
portraits about 10 years ago and later began
selling customized pet ornaments.
These specialized ornaments make a
wonderful personalized gift for any
animal lover. Ornaments begin at $45
and can be found at etsy.com/shop/
Other hot trends this holiday season
include puzzle and snuffle
mats to encourage brain health
and foraging skills and calming donut
beds which promote better sleep by
providing head and neck support and
an increased sense of security. You can
never go wrong with a treat-dispensing
toy to keep your little one occupied and
satisfied. All can be found online or at
your local pet store.
Interested in playing Santa for a homeless
animal? Contact your local animal shelter
or rescue organization to see what items
they may need to make this holiday season
a little brighter for their residents.
While many have postponed accepting
household items, most have Amazon wish
lists or websites for donations.
Randi Schneweiss makes custom ornaments
CREATING FOR CHARITY
Three Manhasset 11-year-olds have
turned a fun hobby into a way to give
This summer, twins Grace and Ava
Panopoulos and their friend Lauren
Kim, all sixth graders at Shelter Rock
Elementary School in Manhasset,
discovered that they love DIY projects.
“The whole summer we were really
doing nothing,” Ava says, “but then, we
started making and tie-dyeing T-shirts
and other things.”
Some of the girls’ friends loved their
creations and wanted some of their
own. That’s when an idea sparked
in their heads: They would sell their
handmade products — right now,
beaded bracelets and mask chains —
and donate proceeds to charities, such
as Ronald McDonald House.
“We thought it would be a nice idea
to help the kids who are suffering
throughout this pandemic,” Grace
says, “especially when they have
something like cancer.”
The girls have raised nearly
$3,000 selling their creations
and donated to four organizations
so far: Manhasset
Women’s Coalition Against Breast
Cancer, Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma
Fund, Madison Holleran Foundation
and Leashes of Valor. They’ll
also be visiting Ronald McDonald
House soon to deliver a donation.
“It makes us feel very good,” Kim says.
“We try to raise money for them so
they can have a better life.”
The friends launched their organization
in mid-August and called it
3GALcreations — “GAL” standing for
Grace, Ava and Lauren. They made
Instagram and Facebook pages for the
project and posted their items for sale.
While they started out selling tie-dyed
shirts, they quickly shifted their focus
to beaded mask chains. Those were a
“This allows them to learn about, ‘How
can I make an impact in this world,
even if it’s small, and how big can it
grow?’” Jeannie Kim, Lauren’s mother,
says. “I think they are pretty shocked
at how big it grew.”
Jeannie and the twins’
mother, Irene Panopoulos,
oversee the finances
of their philanthropic
business and help reach
out to organizations with
good, relevant causes. 3GALcreations’
motto is “dream,
innovate, empower,” and the
moms want their daughters to create
a variety of products and donate to
different charities in the future.
“We want to spread the wealth as much
as possible to various organizations,”
Jeannie says, “until the girls then decide
what their true passion becomes.”
Find 3GALcreations on Facebook and
Grace Panopoulos, left, Ava Panopoulos,
and Lauren Kim, all 11, launched 3Galcreations