I am so excited!
I just got word back from the volunteer coordinator at Pasado’s Safe Haven that I get to spend Christmas morning taking food and supplies to needy pets, woohoo!
The event is called Home for the HOWLidays, and it brings Christmas to needy pets who may otherwise not have a Christmas.
Over 100 volunteers in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties get together and bring donated food, coats, treats, beds, flea medication, other supplies and even a promise of medical care to some of the most destitute of pet owners in our area.
These are often pets who don’t have doghouses or beds, who have never sported a fancy fleece coat like our dogs have, who haven’t experienced the luxury of toys or other pet products we all take for granted every day. And not because their owners don’t care or don’t love them (on the contrary), it’s just because they lack the financial and social resources to provide for their pets.
And before you go getting all in a huff and saying that people who can’t afford a pet shouldn’t have one, let me say this.
Humans and animals have had a deep bond for thousands of years, long before we had insulated houses or flea collars or grooming shops or fancy dog clothes. We survived together and loved each other and made the best with what we had. We have always, and will always, have an inextricable bond, a bond not broken by socioeconomic challenges.
Besides, just because many of us are fortunate enough to live ‘on the grid’ and be regular consumers of (often times expensive) pet products doesn’t make us any better than or different than, those who can’t.
Hopping down off my high-horse now, I am so excited to go and do this.
I have been wanting to ever since attending the CityDog Magazine holiday party at Seattle’s W Hotel on December 5th, which was a fundraiser for Pasado’s Home for the HOWLidays event. That party really got me thinking.
Now here is the long story, if you want the short version, skip to the end.
It has always been an important part of my business to give back. I donate a couple thousand dollars worth of products and services every year to pet rescue organizations, often times when I myself am financially strapped, because this is so personally meaningful to me. I fully believe in adopting a pet over buying one, and I believe we as human beings have an obligation to care for these animals that WE have domesticated.
I have also always had a very humanitarian spirit, something I get from my parents.
I also saw the movie Blood Diamond a couple of months ago and I swear it changed my life.
Before, and especially since then, I have felt a burning desire to do something to make a difference on a global scale. I don’t know that I would be a pet photographer forever. Although I know that my work is deeply meaningful to my clients I just don’t know if 20 years from now I will have felt like what I was doing was making a real difference in the world, something that is really important to me.
So I have been grappling with how I can be a better consumer, a more socially sensitive member of society and not feel guilty being an American, and make choices every day that take steps in improving this world.
Participating in the Pasado event on Christmas Day is just one little step in the right direction.
On Christmas morning at 9am I will be meeting up with my friend Susannah and a bunch of other like-minded volunteers and we will load our cars and vans and trucks up with supplies and head out to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
I consider it a small sacrifice to give up a half of a day with my family on Christmas to participate in this event and feel so fortunate that I have this opportunity.
So there is the long story, the short story is: I love pets, I like to make a loving difference in the lives of the truly needy, and I have the energy, and time to give. What more reason is there?
SO, if you are reading this, and you are thinking: “hey, maybe I should think about doing that” and you can stand to be away from home on Christmas day from 9am until 2pm doing something really loving, go to the Pasado’s Website here, and email the volunteer coordinator Yvonne.
If you’d like to participate but can’t be there in person, you can make a donation for a Costco or other gift card, which will help purchase much needed pet supplies. Details can be found at the bottom of the page linked to above.
Lastly, if you are looking for a last-minute gift suggestion for the person who already has everything, and don’t want to go to the mall and know it’s too late to buy something online, consider going to the Christmas Gift Catalog on Worldvision.com and making a donation purchase in the recipient’s name. You can even download and print a personal gift card to give to the recipient detailing the donation you made for them. Easy as pie!
I personally think there is no better gift to give on Christmas than a goat. 🙂
SO, with that all being said, I need to go call Susannah and give her the good news!!