Sometimes in life, when things get too big, and we feel too small, we need a good shot of hope. The news has nothing hopeful in it, and it can be downright depressing to get small capsules of everything that’s wrong in the world served up on a daily basis. I avoid the news, and with good reason.
The truth is, there are wonderful everyday people who are doing amazing things to help make the world a better place. We just never hear about them. We always think that someone else should be the one to do those amazing things, and because we can’t come up with the ideas ourselves, or because those ideas seem too big for us to do, we do nothing at all.
There’s a woman I’ve met on Facebook who has a regular, everyday life. She has several dogs that’s she’s rescued, and she cares for them well. She has several health concerns of her own, and her days often include doctor’s offices and tests. Her mother is living in a nearby nursing home, and she suffers with Alzheimers, so my friend also rides a daily roller coaster of emotions that come along with that insidious disease.
But this sweet lady does something so simple, and it’s so amazing, it’s almost ridiculous. She has gone to several of her local thrift and second hand stores and made a deal with them. Sometimes, people donate towels or blankets, or bedding that can’t be resold because of holes or stains, etc. Normally, the stores either pitch those items or sell them as rags. My friend asked the thrift stores if they would be willing to donate those items to local animal shelters and rescues, and naturally, they said yes! So, this lady periodically makes the rounds to the thrift stores and back to the shelters and rescues to donate items which would otherwise have to be purchased with donated funds….or most often….the dogs just do without. If a shelter has to choose between providing bedding or food for dogs, the dogs get food, and sleep on the cement floor!
When Rugby came to us, he came with nothing. Not a single thing that was his, except his little red buckle collar. As he settled into our home, I’ll never, ever, forget the look of wonder on his face as he realized that the toys really were his! He could play with them anytime that he wanted, and that they never went away. In the early days, I often piled all 5 of his toys in his crate with him so that he would see that they were all his and he wouldn’t lose them. There was an absolute look of joy on his face that I’ve never seen from any dog I’ve ever owned before.
When I got him his first bed, he was so proud of it! The look on his face was just delight, like he seemed to understand that the bed belonged to him and him alone. He often chose to sleep there, or sometimes, he took his toys there to play. It was as if he had never “owned” things before, and he was so every excited and happy.
What if every community had a “Pam” who collected soft and warm blankies and towels for shelters and rescues? Is she making a real difference in her community? Absolutely. Sometimes, making a real difference is nothing more than doing small, simple things with great love. I think she’s amazing, and I’m proud to share her idea with the hope that others will also pick up the torch she’s lit to make a difference in their own communities.