Pets Are Wonderful Support PAWS does more good for low income seniors and the disabled than many nonprofits, in part from community support and the hundreds of amazing volunteers. People who believe in the power of the human-animal bond are the reason this privately funded nonprofit has been around for 25 years.
PAWS volunteers believe in the value of keeping people and their pets together. That an animal companion can alleviate depression. That the unconditional love an animal gives is deserved to be experienced by everyone.
Rich or poor, love for our animal companions is real
As a volunteer, I got a chance this year to join in delivering a little holiday cheer to some of the 800 PAWS clients during the 2013 Holiday Gift Delivery for Pets project on Sunday, December 8, 2013. More than 100 volunteers helped deliver toys and treats for 1,000+ beloved companion animals around San Francisco.
One of my first stops was at the home of Bamboo and Patricia, who you'll see included in this year's appeal and PAW Prints newsletter. I love their story. During my visit, I was told that Bamboo had recently had some teeth extracted but his recovery was speedy for an 18 year old cat. Patricia said he was eating and playing in hours. I bet he's going to love the light toy we brought. Chasing that will keep him active and playful for years to come!
Missing the Niners football game was fair trade. Rather than feeling inconvenienced or frustrated with taking a Sunday to drive around the city -- and deal with parking issues -- it was really fun to bring joy to folks in the form of a little tote with a few treats and toys in it. I'm not kidding that I had fun because after I returned to the PAWS office, I seized the opportunity to fill in for a missing driver, going out for a second delivery session! My entire Sunday was spent navigating holiday traffic and shoppers. This year instead of being cranky about the chaos I laughed and smiled all day.
Ho ho ho! More laughs, good cheer and happy faces from clients in the Mission District and Noe Valley neighborhoods. We even had this delighted little spaniel race down the hall to greet us!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Helping bring a few gifts to the animals of PAWS clients is a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit. My heart feels a little bigger for it and this event is my new annual tradition.
Ho Ho Woof! Want to know another reason I volunteered? These pets play an important role all year for their people and it feels good to make sure they are rewarded for delivering love, loyalty, forgiveness and often a reason to get up every day. I'm thrilled to be part of the process that rewards these sweet creatures.
If you live in the Bay Area, consider supporting PAWS and their mission as a donor, sponsor or volunteer.