Monday, September 12, 2016
Making a difference - thinking outside the box when donating to an animal shelter
My sister in law got married this past weekend. She held the service at her brother's house and they did a lot of the prep themselves. They put up a large white tent and rented tables and chairs. They ordered food from Olive Garden catering. They bought lots of veggies for appetizers and had multiple choices for desert. It was a lovely and quite touching ceremony, and not just because my husband officiated.
The prep team prepared for 120 or so guests and while we didn't actually count we guessed that there was about 90 or so there. As does most families, my husband's family tends to buy far more food than they think will be necessary, and in this case, there was so much left over food that the hosts were in a bit of a panic as to where they were going to put it all.
I did my best to help prep the food to make it easy for guests to take food home, but I knew they would still be swimming in food, so I started thinking what I could do to help. I made plans to take what we could use at the house. I thought of my parents who enjoy a meal at Olive Garden, so I took what they could use. I looked at the mountains of food left, including an entire table full of over 20+ bowls of salad. I tried to think of other people I could 'pawn food off on' and while I was cleaning up the tray of vegetables it dawned on me that the small animals at the shelter could use veggies. If I was going to make a run to the shelter for veggies, I might as well bring a few bowls of salad for the staff, and if I was going to bring salad, I should probably bring some dessert. At this point, my car was full of food or I might have brought more.
Two grocery bags full of cut veg, two large bowls of salad - including two bottles of dressing and plastic tongs - and a box of desserts.
The staff wasn't quite sure what to make of my donation at first, I'm guessing they didn't quite understand what I was saying I was bringing in. When they got a look at the deserts they were all quite tickled. One gentleman even gave me a hug! When I talked to the foster coordinator later she told me that people rarely bring in donations for the staff to enjoy.
Shelter works have very hard jobs, physically and emotionally. I have always thought that it was important to support the staff as well as the physical day to day running of the shelter - which is what most donations go towards. A couple of boxes of popsicles in the summer.. a box of cookies in the winter.. little things are important.
Maybe you have a spare bunch of tomatoes, or your fruit tree was extra bountiful this year.. Or maybe you have a floral garden that makes a nice bouquet. If you would appreciate someone bringing goodies to you, you know the shelter staff in your area would appreciate it too.
I took some time to take some photos at the shelter and I will share those with you tomorrow.