Once again, the holidays are upon us. It's a time of giving. It's a time when we open our hearts and our pocketbooks to help each other and the animals we love. For those of us who are able, giving is something we gladly do. Some, though, may not feel they are currently in a position to give...at least not monetarily. And that's ok. Money is not the only gift we have to offer.
Money helps to fund our favorite non-profit organizations, particularly those that rescue, shelter, and take care of our animals, as well as educate the public. However, these organizations also rely heavily on volunteers. If you are unable to give a donation of money to your favorite animal welfare organization, think of how you can give your time. Time is valuable, and around the holidays our animals need us even more.
Here are some ways you can donate your energy and time:
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter. Closer to the holidays, the time usually provided by regular volunteers and staff members diminishes as vacations and family obligations are planned. Putting in a few hours will help shelters ensure that enough people are available to maintain their animal residents’ needs. A couple of hours here and there go a long way. Activities like helping with transport, washing blankets, feeding and walking dogs, and playing with and providing enrichment for shelter animals are always in high demand.
- Donate goods that a rescue or shelter can use, such as gently used dog toys, blankets, pee pads, or unopened bags of treats.
- Pick your favorite animal organization and volunteer to help them with fundraising events. Especially if you have talents or experience in the areas of planning and fundraising, non-profit organizations can greatly benefit from your expertise.
- Simple acts like sharing a shelter organization’s social media messages can do a lot to benefit their work. Spread the word! You could also write a blog or editorial article dedicated to the organization, or simply have conversations with friends and colleagues about the wonderful work the organization does for the animals in its care.
- Give to the people you know and love. Reach out to a neighbor or friend who needs help with their animals during this busy time of year – you could offer to walk a dog or spend quality play time with the family’s pets. If you can, give the gift of pet sitting to a friend over the holidays so that an animal does not have to be kenneled while the family is away.
Of course, be sure to nurture your own animals during this very stressful time of the year. That extra walk, mini-massage, and cuddle time can go a long way to keep your pets (and you) feeling happy and relaxed.
Even when money is scarce, it’s always possible to give from your heart where the funds never dry up. Many times, your presence is better than presents!
From ours to yours, we wish you a very Happy Holidays!