Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I became a member of a couple of national pet charities a few years ago, and the floodgates opened.
An endless barrage of pleading letters, address labels and offers of "free" gifts filled my letter-box to overflowing, and continues to do so. There are hundreds of non-profit organisations that offer succor to pets and wildlife in the United States, and every one of them seems to have my name and address. How did that happen? Do these charities sell their mailing lists to other charities? Hmm.
Moreover, every few months I'm being urged to "renew" my annual membership. Funny, but I always thought annual meant yearly.
I receive unsolicited merchandise (piggy banks, coffee mugs, calculators) and if I don't send a donation I get a follow-up letter asking if I've received my "gift."
I now have enough address labels to last 100 years.
All of this is calculated to make me feel guilty, but the result has been the opposite.
When I give time or money to a good cause, I want to feel as if I've done something worthwhile. I don't want to continually be told that no matter how much I've given it still isn't enough. And I certainly don't want to be bombarded with horror stories about animals that died in agony because I didn't contribute enough money in time to save them.
Currrently, my favorite animal charity is a sanctuary in Utah called Best Friends Animal Society. They rescue animals and give them a home for life. Once a year, they ask me to renew my annual membership. Every six months, they send me a newsletter full of happy, heartwarming photographs and stories about animals they've rescued.
This approach doesn't clog up my letter-box or make me feel guilty. But it does encourage me to continue to give, for the simple reason that instead of making me feel guilty and inadequate, they make me feel good.


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

I don't believe how these similarities keep becoming evident. "Best Friends" is one of the very best. Mike surprised me with a visit while we were in that neck of the woods a couple of years ago. It's well worth the trip! It is a wonderful facility and they offer so much to others who would like to follow suit.

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