Everyone who knows me, knows about my love for cats. I have blogged about it on these very pages (here, here, & here). I love them. And I realize that not everyone does - I've heard about it on Facebook - how I post too many cat things. I beg anyone who dislikes my posts to please unfriend me - things aren't changing on my end.
When I found my Winnie, she had been saved by a local rescue, Lots of Love Cat Rescue (LOLCR). The Rescue works miracles and relies solely on donations. They operate on the belief that no cat should be hungry or cold or unloved. Simple and beautiful. They are a ray of hope for homeless animals.
In 2013, when they were set to hold their primary fundraising event of the year, I donated a couple of framed photos for the auction. The event is held at a local restaurant (The Flatbread Company). On Tuesday nights they will allow local charitable organizations to hold fundraisers at their restaurant. They will also donate a portion of all pizza sales during the evening. It's really a win for anyone who attends...pizza and shopping and helping cats...what's not to love?
This year, I again donated two framed photos and am attending to help set up and to shop and to eat pizza. I am really excited for the event and the opportunity to help LOLCR. I have also met some super cool people who help in a variety of ways and I am looking forward to spending time with them. Their rescue of Winnie has turned out to be an amazing blessing for me and while I can never give back anything equal to that, I am happy to be able to do something.
By now you might be thinking, "that's nice De - have fun at the auction -- is there a point to this blog?". There is. I'm writing to ask everyone who reads this to stop and think about what you can do. How you can help. How you can make a difference. If you're not sure, let me give you some ideas. If you don't live near LOLCR, look around and find a rescue near you.
Money: the fastest way to help. Send a donation. Buy a gift card and send that. So many of these rescues exist completely on donations and from fundraising. They can guess and hope but they have no idea how much money they might take in. What they do know is there will always be cats needing them and never enough money to help them all.
Support Fundraising Efforts: You know the auction I mentioned? Attend it. Can't attend? Think about something to donate next year. Look around for something happening near you. Maybe your favorite organization has an on-line store. Buy a sweatshirt or a T-shirt or a mug. Buy something. Follow organizations on Facebook to keep up with what they have going on.
Donate items: Kitten season is upon us and rescues need help. Towels. How about a spring clean up of your linen closet. If you think about, aren't there some towels you never use, but you know they aren't ready to be turned into rags. Clean towels in good shape are invaluable. Cat food. You go to the supermarket, right? Buzz up the pet aisle and pick up some cat food. You don't need to buy a zillion cans - buy 4 or 5. Put them with the towels and get them to a rescue. If you have a chance to gather friends together, tell everyone it's a kitten shower and that they have to bring one cat-friendly item. People will have fun with that and will help you build quite a donation pile.
Donate YOU: You don't have time...blah blah blah...I know. But you just might. You have an hour on Saturday or Sunday or whatever day you have off. You can bottle feed a kitten or clean cat boxes or hold a cat who needs extra love. You are the very best gift you can give.
Do all or any of these things and you will be a hero. "De De De ... 5 cans of cat food and some towels I don't use do not a hero make." Wrong Wrong Wrong. 5 cans of cat food can be 10 meals. Those towels will help clean or comfort a living creature afraid and in need of care. You will be MY hero if you help.
We live in a crazy world and in uncertain times. What doesn't change is the love people have for innocent animals and the generosity of the human spirit when it counts. If you aren't sure you can help - I say to you - yes you can. Find a way. Be a hero. It's not difficult and the rewards of knowing you have made a difference are endless.