We have so many reasons to be thankful all year long and I love it when we take this time of year to reflect on some of those reasons. One of my many reasons to be thankful is because of my community.
Because CARES’ mission is to help animals and the people who love them, we often have the opportunity to serve people and vulnerable animals in need. But we can’t do it alone and reach out to the community for participation. Every time we do we’re amazed at the outpouring of love and generosity. This time was no exception.
Recently my nonprofit animal welfare group, Central Georgia CARES, sponsored a weeklong pet food collection drive. The gracious Walthall family is always so willing to help CARES with all of our projects and once again offered their Exxon location on Forsyth Road in Macon as the food drop off point.
In addition to being grateful for the Walthall family, I am deeply thankful to the very kind Exxon staff who helped receive, organize and display the contributions. They were eager to help us and celebrated with us as thoughtful people in the community came bearing gifts of food. As the bounty of contributions grew, the wonderful folks at Exxon stored the food for us in another room until we could make arrangements for volunteers to pick it up.
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My deepest appreciation is to the numerous members of our community who share our love and concern for the welfare of animals in our area and who helped with our appeal for food. Your generosity never ceases to amaze and inspire CARES and me. I am humbled by the enormous significant contingent of animal lovers willing to help others in middle Georgia. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
We’ve learned over the years that the need for help is tremendous. CARES has a constant list of requests for help and we share with people who love their pets but have temporarily run into hard times. We’ve learned the demand is great and we share as often as our supply allows.
But as it turned out, CARES had three simultaneous requests for help from people in substantial hardship situations just as our collection drive was coming to a close. It seems we were just picking up our donated food when the calls for help came in.
One particularly heart wrenching case is the gentleman we learned about with a life changing illness. His constant companion, confidante and encourager is his dog. His large dog, who lives inside with him, is always at his side.
He couldn’t imagine life without his dog. He couldn’t imagine battling this illness without his dog. He couldn’t imagine sharing his hopes, dreams and fears with anyone other than his dog.
But a big dog has a hearty appetite and a disability check only goes so far. CARES’ considered it an honor to step in and help. Now this gentleman only has to worry about fighting his illness instead of worrying about his best friend being hungry. The two of them can travel this journey together with a few less worries.
Relieve suffering. Decrease anxiety. Share joy. Meet needs. That’s what CARES’ does all because you help. To the most wonderful, thoughtful community I know of, I say heartfelt thanks.
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