It’s the greatest, most impactful gifts that need not be shopped for or wrapped or contained in a box, as all it takes is a trip within our hearts to find them. And since I know you want to be in the spirit of quality gift giving this holiday season, I encourage you to take that trek to find your time, love, and energy and, most importantly, give it to those who need it most! Having this ever relevant Christmas attitude in mind, I’ve put together a list of 10 ways for you to give to the neediest, most-deserving, pooches in my community: the countless rescues waiting for furever homes in shelters. You’ll fursure get lots of ruv in return!
So how can you go about helping rescues this howliday?
1. Adopt and/or sponsor a furiend. Or two. Or three. (Basically however many you can handle!)
Here are some that are up for adoption at the Best Friends Animal Society! Click their photo to find out more info about adopting and/or sponsoring them. -
2. Pick a trusted animal rescue organization to donate funds to, like the Best Friends Animal Society, Hope for Paws, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, or a reputable no-kill rescue non-profit in your area.
3. If you want to gather more funds from fellow animal lovers, host an event, found your own charitable business, start a Facebook page to raise awareness about your chosen charity, organize a Facebook auction (or bid in an existing charitable one!), or ask for the donations of friends and family!
4. Spread the word about the need for animal adoptions and about current animals up for adoption with social media. Use a wide range of tools—blog with a blog-hosting site like e.Host.cc, Wordpress, Tumblr, etc. ; administer a Facebook page; start an animal adoption focused Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest; organize a meetup; Share adoption posts on your personal accounts… Whatever you choose to do will make your voice heard and increase the likeliness of adoptions, so the more accounts & followers you have, the better!
5. Attend an event for your favorite rescue org. Find as many walks, runs, conferences, etc. that you can fit into your schedule and go!
6. Volunteer your time on a regular basis. Organizations need volunteers for everything from clerical tasks to setting up events, providing transportation, walking dogs, handing out flyers, & more, so you’re bound to find a way to help that fits your interests.
7. Do some creative volunteering and donate a special skill! You can, for example, offer to use your pawtastic photography skills to take cute & creative photos of dogs up for adoption. Other special skills you can use include website design, social media development, accounting, marketing, etc.
8. Make or buy beds, toys, & anything else a shelter in your area might need. Call or look on their website to find out if there are specific items they’re looking for.
9. The shelter can be a lonely place while an animal waits for a home. Visit & see if you can offer your company.
10. And if you become so passionate about helping rescues that you want to start an organization of your own, go for it! There are great resources out there to help you get educated with the process, such as grantspace.org, councilofnonprofits.org, usa.gov, etc. You could even try to get in touch with others who’ve started similar non-profits; that way you can get valuable advice on how to succeed with your charity!