Christmas is a holiday observed to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the figurehead of Christianity. But, for most it is a time of sparkling lights, gatherings and gift giving to those you love. It is a busy time of year with our focus centered on what and how much needs to get done with the magical date of December 25th counting down our free moments. Local charities at this time of year can suffer as our time is filled and our pockets emptied on our loved ones. Redefine Christmas this year. Explore local charities that need your support and make it a family tradition. Embrace the spirit of Christmas and turn your recreational time into giving to those that need you. I will do the leg work for you by exploring over the next few articles opportunities in your community that can make a difference.
Here’s my favorite – The Humane Society of Southern Arizona. Sara Gromley, Public Relations Coordinator for The Humane Society of Southern Arizona stated that yes; they definitely need you and your support. The shelter in-takes 10,000 animals per year with approximately 500 at one time in foster care, hospital units and up for adoption. As of today, they are full and need your support.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Monetary donations are easy on your time and allow the society to purchase exactly what they need. Place a check in the mail and you are done. Have time to deliver it? Take the kids with you and show them where you are donating your money and explain to them how you know it will make a difference. This in itself is a rewarding experience and an opportunity to educate the next generation on compassion for the animals that are in need.
2. Take the kids out to the store and do a small shop for the animals at the shelter. A great purchase for the dogs is Kong toys. Sara said they are the perfect toy – sturdy, easy to sanitize and provide happiness and ease the stress of being in the shelter. If cats are your best friend, she suggests feather toys, little mice and scratchy posts. Food. As of today they are running low on canned food for the animals in foster care. Pick up a few tins of dog and cat food. Birds, ferrets, and hamsters are turned in to the shelter as well – don’t forget these critters as you shop. Take your donations to any one of their locations and you are sure to leave with a smile on your face and a bigger heart.
3. Can’t spare any change right now? No worries, go through your closets. Have old towels, bedding or blankets? If so, Sara suggests bringing them in to the shelter. They are in need of bedding for the kennels and your cast offs will make a huge difference.
4. Your time is precious and The Humane Society of Southern Arizona values it as well. Choose what you enjoy with offerings of shelter work, customer service, store volunteers, foster care and off-site events. What a perfect way to spend quality time with your children (15 and under require an adult to volunteer). Head down to the shelter and volunteer your time – together.
5. Last but not least, 5311 E. Speedway Blvd is now home to The Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s Thrift Store. If you are spending some time over the holidays cleaning out the cupboards, take your things there. All proceeds from the sale of items go to the Humane Society and its inhabitants. If you are looking for that perfect Christmas gift for that hard to buy for person on your list, go vintage and see what fabulous treasure you may find on the shelves at the Thrift Store.
I challenge you to redefine Christmas this year. Take your recreational time and money and do something different; do it together and make a difference.