We are quickly approaching what I think is one of the most important times of the year: giving thanks. Gratitude is so critical in our world right now and to have a holiday centered around the concept is truly a gift.
Working in animal sheltering really makes you aware of how meaningful and paramount thanks-yous truly are. I hope that every time I express it the sentiment is sincere.
For everyone who has ever, during the existence of this organization, donated anything – time, money, treasures or talent – thank you. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you. Truly, it’s that simple.
I also want to thank anyone who has ever adopted an animal from this shelter (or any other shelter or rescue) and given that four-legged friend a good, loving home for the duration of his or her life. Adopters are another huge reason that we are here and you folks give us the bittersweet joy of knowing that although we may no longer see the animals we let into our hearts and the lives we touched, we know that they are truly happy and loved. And quite honestly, for that, a simple thank you would never be enough.
Our board of directors needs a big thank you. These folks volunteer their time to help the homeless animals we serve and many of them have other commitments to family and jobs and yet they still work tirelessly for these four-legged souls. It’s inspiring to witness.
I want to thank area businesses that have supported us throughout the years either through our various fundraisers or by offering services to help get our message out. The friends I’ve met through the newspapers and radio stations are many and truly amazing. We’ve had offsite adoptions at local stores, pet banks placed in area businesses for monetary income, posters of pets available for adoption displayed throughout the area, donations from businesses for our shelter events and supplies to keep the shelter running, sponsorships by businesses for a wide range of reasons and services offered at low or no cost.
A thank you to the community members who support us by participating in our events like our Christmas Open House, annual dog walk, Music Festival, and offsite adoptions. I have some of the greatest conversations with supporters at these events. Thank you to the folks I see practically on a daily basis hauling supplies like laundry detergent, bleach, dog food, cat food, cat treats and dog treats into this shelter. And thank you to the folks who come out here to spend time with our animals by walking dogs and playing with our cats. Animal-lovers truly can support this shelter through a variety of avenues.
I also want to thank the staff who come into this building every day to help animals. I’ve said it before that we are the front lines of a daily battle and many of us from time to time grow very war-weary, but we keep getting up when the alarm goes off and coming in with the hope that it might be a good day for one of our furry friends. That takes grit and determination. And for that, I thank the inspirational group of people we have here at CVAS.
I am also so incredibly grateful for the help that we received from so many people to get us through and continue to thrive during the pandemic. I cannot tell you what it meant to all of us that despite the tough times the whole world was in, the animals at CVAS weren’t forgotten.
Animal sheltering is a strange business because it is so very closely tied to emotions. I’ve worked in places where the products have been everything from trinkets to books and at the end of the day, if we didn’t sell a baby doll or a magnet, I didn’t lose a wink of sleep over it.
At CVAS, though, we’re in the business of finding homes for adoptable animals – creatures who live, breathe and love just like we do. And that makes it a whole different ballgame because when we go home from this shelter at night, we don’t leave inanimate objects inside these walls. We leave furry critters with whom we become very close during their stay. And we worry, hope and pray that the next day will be the one when they find forever homes.
Some folks out there get it – the struggle, the emotions. Especially those folks I just listed in the above paragraphs. I sincerely hope that everyone who supports any animal welfare agency will continue to do so for as long as they can. It’s an important, very needed, endeavor.
And for all of you who do and will always help, I’d like to say from the very bottom of my heart and for all those we have saved: thank you.
Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected] The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 717-263-5791 or visit the website www.cvas-pets.org. CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.