Tag Archive for volunteering

Be Kind to Animals Week

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Be Kind to Animals Week, May 4-10, 2014

The American Humane Association created Be Kind to Animals Week in 1915 to encourage compassion toward animals. Every year, animal shelters throughout the country hold special events during this time-honored week to raise awareness about animals in our homes and communities and to celebrate the unique bond between humans and animals.

For those tempted to comment that this should be every day, of course, we agree. Commemorative days or weeks for an occasion are intended to bring special awareness and to celebrate, not to suggest that the activity should be done only on that day or during that week. And though you might be kind to animals, there are so many out there still suffering at the hands of people who are not. So, take a look at the other ways to celebrate below and see how you can help spread the word.

Be Kind to Animals Week

Other ways to celebrate from The American Humane Association

  • Report any suspected animal abuse or neglect to animal control
  • Commit to adopting your next pet from an animal shelter
  • Donate to or volunteer at your local animal shelter
  • Spay or neuter your pets and encourage friends and family to do the same
  • Spend quality time with your pet
  • Make sure your pet has an ID tag or microchip
  • Drive cautiously through areas populated by wild animals such as deer
  • Plant flowers in your yard that will attract butterflies or hummingbirds
  • Speak out in your community about the importance of respecting animals

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Black Cat Appreciation Day

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Black Cat Appreciation DayBlack Cat Appreciation Day is on Saturday, the 17th. Why do they need a day? What is it about black cats that cause them to be overlooked at shelters? Orange or blue-eyed kitties are often adopted on their first day while black cats may stay for months before being adopted. Far more often than others, they are euthanized before they get that chance at a happy life. Rescues have the same problem, with some black cats remaining in the rescue for years.

Surely, in this day and age, it is not the “unlucky” myth! Perhaps to a few, but to others, what is it? Some say they are harder to photograph. Yes, that’s true, but really? Are people just looking for something flashier? Something with stripes, spots, or an unusual color? I think black cats just blend into the background at shelters and rescues, like they do in a photograph where they seem to lose their face. 

Topper - in celebration of Black Cat Appreciation Day

Topper

I don’t currently have any black cats of my own. My beautiful Topper went to the rainbow bridge a few years back and is actually the reason I got into fostering. (That’s a tale for another post.) As a foster, I have cared for many black cats and kittens and it seems to me that they are the most affectionate and loving. When I go to a friend’s house where multiple cats live, it is always the black ones that come for attention and affection.

Black Cat Appreciation day was created by Wayne Morris, who invented the day in honor of his sister (who passed away on August 17 years ago) and the black cat that she loved. He used social networking to spread the word on his Facebook page For the Love of Black Cats (Black Cat Appreciation Page).

adopt black cat

How you can help bring awareness on Black Cat Appreciation Day — and beyond!

It is a mystery why people are less likely to adopt black cats, but here’s how you can help bring awareness to their plight.

  1. Join the Black Cat Appreciation Day Event on Facebook. Share the event on your page and invite friends.
  2. Share black cats anywhere you can, like your social media posts or your website/blog. Show people how special they are — or even just how they are like other cats!
  3. Learn to take great photos of black cats. It can be done.
  4. Find a local shelter or rescue and volunteer. Find creative ways to help them promote their black kitties.
  5. Adopt a black cat.

So, after writing this, I have to wonder: If we bring awareness and get more black cats adopted, are more orange and blue-eyed kitties going to die? The real awareness we need to foster is spay/neuter and adopt-not-shop. But for this post, black cats rule!

 

Adopt a black cat


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My Volunteering Friends

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Most of us do small things for others once in a while. You may let someone with a few items in the grocery line ahead of you, or open the door for someone just to do it. I have several friends who go way beyond that, volunteering their time to a number of non-profit and/or charity organizations. Using their compassion and skills, they help people in so many ways that what they do must change the world for the better. We may never know how much.

volunteering graphic

Giving people come in many forms, volunteering in many ways. They may nurse a kitty back to health so it can find a forever home. They may fix a woman’s hair, sometimes for the first time in a long while, and see the joy in her eyes when she looks in the mirror. They may let their dog brighten up someones day, if onlyvolunteering - therapy dog for a moment. They may open their home to a family in need while they regroup and start over. They may help someone pick themselves up and get help with an addiction, or sponsor others to help them stay sober or get them back on track. There are so many others that I could go on for a while. Suffice it to say, what they do touches someone’s heart, whether for only a moment or a lifetime, it still changes that person. And people who have had someone do something that affected their life tend to pass it forward.

I was that person in a grocery line with a couple of items. The woman in front of me graciously let me ahead of her. When the cashier rang up my items, the bells sounded. I was the winner of a weekend in Palm Springs. Without hesitation, I turned and handed it to the woman that let me in line ahead of her. She actually said to me, “Oh, you don’t have to do that.”  I said its the perfect reward for your good deed. She was so thankful and happy since her anniversary was coming up and this would be so special. So I, who normally would have only had the chance to say thank you again while leaving, made someone’s day for doing something as simple as letting someone go ahead of them. 

Tell us your Story

We would like to hear a small story of yours. Please comment and tell us either what someone did for you, or what you did for someone else and how good it made you feel. Let’s see how many people we can inspire to do something for someone else.


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