This is the time of year when giving and helping is foremost on everyone’s minds. It’s natural to feel a little more generous and charitable right now, and many with pets want to help animals less fortunate than their own.
However, sometimes the desire to give outweighs the means. If cash is tight there are still other ways you can contribute:
1) Time: Commit to spending an hour every week (or every other) at a shelter. Shelters are always looking for volunteers for a variety of jobs. (Not just for cleaning up, but for extra help during fundraising events, rescue missions, etc.)
2) Foster parenting: Limited space is a never-ending dilemma for shelters. Is there extra room in your home to provide a safe place for those on a waiting list?
3) Tangible donations: Maybe you can’t spare $20, but perhaps you have an extra coupon for a bag of dog or cat food? Same for paper towels. Buy extra when you can save a buck or two and then give it to a shelter. Also useful to shelters are old bath towels and sheets. (Laundered preferably, but other than that the condition doesn’t have to be pristine.)
4) Recyclables: Instead of recycling newspapers, take them to your local shelter. (They will make good use of them!) Don’t toss your old inkjet cartridges or cell phones. Instead, mail them away. PETsMART provides postage-paid self-sealing envelopes that can hold from one to six cartridges or phones. $2 for each cartridge is then donated to PETsMART Charities.
5) Make your clicks count: At The Animal Rescue Site they have a purple button labeled Fund Food for Animals. By clicking the button, you help feed animals in shelters or sanctuaries. Click it daily and you’re providing a daily portion of food!
I donate cash to the ASCPA and shop their site whenever I can, but I also make non-cash donations periodically throughout the year to local shelters. One thing I’ve found about donating food is that some shelters will take any kind, but most try and feed the same type every day. A quick call usually tells me what the preferred kibble du jour is and I can buy accordingly. Also, when I know this, I ask friends and family to be on the lookout for coupons.
It doesn’t matter how you give, be it cash or otherwise, it just matters that you do. They aren’t able to express their thanks, but you can rest assured our four-legged less fortunate friends certainly do appreciate having a safe place to sleep and food in their tummies –all of which become possible through donations of all forms.