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Spirit of Kindness

yornik [Flickr]

Ronald Reagan said, "We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone."  This is a time when each of us may have an opportunity to be kind to another person, to an animal, and maybe to organizations that help people or animals.  How can you show a spirit of kindness today?


A friend of mine, Mindy Gilbert, is the Alabama State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. She recently shared her thoughts about ways you might help the animals, even – or especially – during the COVID-19 crisis.

One way is to check with your local shelter or rescue group and offer to foster a pet. Fostering is a temporary situation. You give the dog or cat an opportunity to socialize with humans away from the shelter environment, making it more adoptable. In the end, you may save a pet’s life while enriching your own.

Another way to help is to make a contribution to your local animal shelter or rescue organization. They still need to feed and care for the animals, and clean up after them. Money is always welcome, but many would appreciate donations of supplies (especially cleaning supplies) and pet food. Visit their website or Facebook page to see if they post a wish list. You could order most of the items online and have them delivered or shipped, allowing you to maintain your social distance. As Mindy said, it’s like casting a stone on the surface of a pond – you may not realize just how far that ripple of help goes.

Finally, this is a time to check on folks that are mobility impaired, living alone or struggling in a manner that may not be immediately obvious. Mindy provided a link to a simple card you can download from Best Friends and leave in a neighbor’s mailbox to see what you might do that would help them keep their pets – like walking their dog, or getting groceries or pet food, even offering transportation to the vet’s office. To download the card, visit the Alabama Public Radio website and click on the Speaking of Pets logo, then click on this message, which will contain that link.  [CLICK HERE FOR BEST FRIENDS LINK]

Most of us know just how special it can be to have a furry friend to share our lives, relieving our stress and easing our loneliness. Thanks, Mindy Gilbert, for reminding us that even while maintaining our social distance, we can still maintain a spirit of kindness, especially when we’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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