What do pickles have to do with homeless pets?
Last week, my friend contacted me about our Strut Your Mutt fundraising for Best Friends Animal Society and Animal Care for Artists and was saddened that it is a little slower than last year. Due to the recession and many people we know who are out of work many nonprofit groups are noticing a decline.
However, we have raised a little and it is something to be thankful for. I told her that I had to remember my “jar of pickles” and know that even the smallest efforts can mean the world to someone (or in this case an animal in need).
What do pickles have to do with this? Well, as a kid my parents were among that huge wave of divorces that hit in the 1970’s. At around eight years old, my mother was suddenly a single mom who had never even obtained her high school degree. The two year custody battle and divorce had sapped my parents of whatever resources they had. On top of the lack of education, my mother also struggled with manic-depression and life was just very difficult for her. Although we were fortunate that my dad never missed child-support payments it was not always enough and food was an issue. We were able to supplement with food stamps or church donations for awhile and that was helpful. I recall my mother picking me up from school one day when I was around 13 and her crying that she did not have anything to feed me when we got home. My heart breaks for all of the parents out there who have to tell that to their child.
When things started to improve, one of the highlights was when my dad would come to visit and instead of a trip to the toy store or the mall I asked for my gifts to be a trip to the grocery store. He would take me and let me buy all of those things that we could not normally get- this included things like fancy cereal or the big treat: pickles and olives!! We would get home and eat a whole jar for dinner! Oh the decadent joy!!!
Today, life is better but those times stick in your head. Those times remind me to be grateful for all of the “little things” that make a difference. No matter what we raise with our fundraiser this year- even if it is as small as a “jar of pickles” – it will make a difference and could mean helping keep an animal with their owner, a vet visit, or a spay/neuter procedure. All good is good.
This is a letter we received in 2010 after we gave an artist just enough to cover a vet visit; just enough for a vet visit and some antibiotics and this is the difference it made:
I just wanted to thank you formally for your organizations financial assistance with my cat, Sophia’s, recent veterinary care. It’s been a very difficult time for me lately due to a major slump in available work in the motion picture special effects industry. I’ve been barely scraping by on unemployment benefits for some time now, and when my pet fell ill, I was faced with the very difficult but very urgent decision between paying my rent or paying the vet to fix my cat. What a horrible position to be in, to be actually considering letting nature “run its course.” It makes me shudder just thinking about it. But, thanks to The Animal Care for Artists Initiative, I didn’t have to decide between sacrificing my welfare or my pet’s. Your payment of Sophia’s vet bill llowed me to pay my bills while still giving her the medical treatment she needed. Sophia is doing very well now, and so am I.
Thanks again A.C.A.I.
(name on file)
It doesn't take much to help people. After the discussion with my friend I came into work to receive a wonderful gift of pickles and olives and had this for dinner:
It may seem like a little thing but it meant the world to me.
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