WB teen to appear on Nickelodeon show
ERIC CZARNIK C & G Staff Writer
Published: November 18, 2009
WEST BLOOMFIELD – Jin Swartz didn’t have to worry about getting slimed when he recently filmed a segment for Nickelodeon in October. The 13-year-old West Bloomfield resident will appear on the “Nick News” TV show to describe his volunteer work with the Animal Care Network, a division of the Michigan Animal Adoption Network, or MI-AAN.
The “Nick News” episode, titled “Kids to the Rescue,” was supposed to air Nov. 15, but it has since been rescheduled to Dec. 27.
Swartz said that nearly all of his classmates know about the Nickelodeon taping, and he feels a mixture of excitement and nervousness about having his friends watch the show. However, he said he was happy to use the media to promote the Animal Care Network, which he has been a part for about 1 1/ 2 years.
“Most of the kids, from my experience, just usually sit home and watch TV or play video games,” Swartzsaid. “I think it’s just a good experience for them to get out and be active.” According to MI-AAN President Marie Skladd, the charity received a call from Lucky Duck Productions, which is owned by “Nick News” host Linda Ellerbee.
The production company was looking for young volunteers across the nation who assist animals.
Skladd said she was happy to nominate Swartz, whom she called a passionate and dedicated volunteer.
“Jin is an awesome kid,” she said. “I’m pretty adamant about the volunteers being 21 years of age or older, except for Jin.” The Animal Care Network’s mission is to serve animals that live in poorer parts of Oakland and Wayne counties. The organization spays and neuters pets, and convinces some neglectful pet owners to surrender their animals for adoption.
Skladd said her group mainly helps dogs and cats, though it has helped out birds, pigs and snakes in the past. “We rescued a scorpion two weeks ago that was in someone’s basement,” she said. As a volunteer, Swartz usually helps out the Animal Care Network twice a month. During those times, he joins his father, Irving Swartz, and travels to Pontiac neighborhoods that need pet food or straw for doghouses. The Swartzes sometimes cover 20-30 addresses in a single day.
Swartz‘s father, who has been volunteering at the Animal Care Network for 12 years, said he is looking forward to watching his son reach kids across America with a message of volunteerism.
“I think it’s good because of the exposure to the group and what we do,” the father said. “I’m hoping that it will encourage other kids to do the same thing.” For more information on the Animal Care Network, visit www.mi-aan. org or call (248) 545-5055.