UsedYorkCity’s NYC Charity Of Choice Is…!
A few weeks ago I posted my 4 simple goals I
hope to will accomplish before the end of 2013. First up: finding a NYC charity to support.
I broke this into 4 simple steps (I do love consistency!), and before I knew it, I had honed in on a wonderful organization that I look forward to being involved with in different capacities for years to come.
1.) Find Your Passion
The first thing I did was jot down causes I’m passionate about, my top three being: shelter animals, foster kids, and the arts. From these, I asked myself, “What is going to get you excited to walk out the door on a Saturday morning to spend your time and energy on?” Realistically, we already see practically a show a week, so I feel confident that I’m already supporting the arts in some small way. And while I really do love working with children, especially at-risk kiddos that need the extra support, attention, and love, I realize that this is not something I have the time or the emotional stamina to commit to right now. But supporting shelter animals? That, my friends, makes me exceptionally happy on all kinds of levels. Passion picked!
2.) Find An Organization That Fits Your Beliefs And Lifestyle
After deciding that an animal shelter is my charity of choice, I had about a million to wean through. Okay, not quite a million, but there’s certainly no shortage of shelters in NYC.
I knew that first off, I needed to find something with a relatively easy commute. While there may be great shelters in Staten Island or Brooklyn, there’s no way I’d realistically be traipsing there on a regular basis (to thine own self be true, right?). So I refined my search to shelters in Manhattan.
Next, I made a very personal decision. I know lots of animal lovers that swear by “no-kill” shelters, and I completely respect that choice. However, my little Gillman and our family dogs Prescott and Annie were both rescued from kill shelters and they are just the best pooches we could have ever asked for (also the inspiration for my children’s book, Park Avenue Pound Puppy, which educates kiddos about making adoption your first option!).
No-kill shelters have the ability of turning animals away on a regular basis because, quite simply, they are almost always filled to capacity. The open-door (i.e. kill) shelters take in animals from all walks of life…ones that have been abandoned, abused, are stray, have been surrendered by owners, you name it. So for me, the choice was easy: I chose to spend my time volunteering at an open-door shelter where the greatest amounts of animals would positively be affected, the Animal Care and Control of NYC.
3.) Explore Various Ways To Be Involved
Once deciding on the place, research ways you’d want to be involved. This can range from on-site in-the-trenches kind of work to remembering to include them in your annual giving donations. For me, socializing the animals and showering them with affection (particularly the pooches) interests me the most, as does educating potential adopters. Well-socialized and happy dogs are much more likely to be adopted, and well-educated humans are much more likely to provide the best possible homes for them.
4.) Make A Commitment To Yourself
I’m so excited to begin volunteering with this wonderful organization beginning in January! I’ve made a personal commitment to myself to start by volunteering 8 hours a month directly on-site with the furry guys, as well as to be involved in their two annual fundraising events a year. And of course, to continue spreading the word to anyone considering getting a pet to rescue a shelter sweetie. I mean…just look at that face!!!!
And that’s it…4 simple steps! I’ll be sure to share my volunteer adventures with you all in the coming year!
I’d love to know…what cause are you passionate about, and how are you involved with it?
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen