The very essence of working for a nonprofit requires a sense of gratitude and being in-service to donors and volunteers and staff, and, in our case, the companion animals we care for day in and day out.
And in the process, being thankful and in awe of the people who care about us and our work simply becomes a way of life that spills out into everything we do, every day of our lives. You might say it's an unexpected benefit of the job. I’m not sure anyone ever says thank you enough…acknowledging the big things and the little ones that friends and family and people we don’t even know do that make us feel appreciated. At HSSW, those small acts of kindness and recognition keep us going, always wanting to do more for our people + dogs + cats….and rabbits, too.
Six years ago, we were challenged financially. Really challenged. We received a call that a Vancouver resident had left his estate to us. He had never been a donor. And, no one knew who he was. And his family had no idea why he chose HSSW as his sole beneficiary. When all was said and done, Jack Hochhalter left us nearly $500,000. It didn’t solve our financial problems. But it did give us some breathing room and ensured we could make payroll for a while. When we complete our planned catio (an enclosed outdoor area where cats can roam freely), it will be named for the Hochhalter Catio in remembrance and thanks to a man we never knew, and who one time mentioned that he like cats. We are so very grateful.
Blue Pod is the kennel area for our most special dogs. Dogs that struggle with behavior issues, or don’t adjust to kennel life, or are recovering from illness. They are loved and cared for by the specially-trained Blue Pod volunteers….many of them come in three or four times a week to walk, cajole, train and just love on these dogs. Their challenges are many and these “true blue” volunteers go above and beyond to ensure their charges have the best possible chance of finding just the right family. We are grateful for the dedication and tenacity….and their great big hearts.
Liz Gayhart and Kathy Little make magic every holiday season. You see, we have a holiday shop at ReTails Thrift Store – every November and December. These two volunteers work year-round to ensure that the 35,000+ donated holiday items are sorted and clean and priced and ready for more than 1,000 customers looking for bargains to decorate their homes. They set up the artificial Christmas tree “lot,” merchandise in the boutique, hang the wreaths and decorate the store. All for the love of dogs and cats and people, oh my! They exemplify the holiday spirit at ReTails all year long. We are so thankful for Liz and Kathy.
These are just three examples of why we love to work at HSSW and ReTails. There are hundreds and hundreds more reasons to say thank you to you and to everyone who support their local humane society. Come by for a visit and see for yourself.