Charitable organizations have always existed to support the vulnerable groups within our communities and beyond. Many if not all of these charities support a myriad of causes such as homeless people and animals, people suffering from diseases, women, and other disadvantaged groups. However, given their non-profit making nature, their operations entirely rely on the generosity of well-wishers and the community at large to make donations in terms of finances, material things, and even moral support.
Recently, our very own Sherri Rider, RN, encouraged everyone here at Heartland to donate pet food and monetary donations for Inter-faith Ministries Operation Holiday program. What initially started as an act of kindness saw many of our employees joining hands by donating pet supplies and money for this cause—all in trying to make our community a better place.
As John Bunyan said, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you”. Your donations are treasured and have gone to provide much more than the finances and supplies themselves.
How Inter-faith Ministries is Making a Difference
It’s estimated that more than 640,000 people are homeless on any given night in the US. Even more worrying, between 5-10% of these people have cats and dogs as their companions.
This large number of pets living with homeless people has been attributed to be the lifeline and reason to live for many these people living in a marginalized and stigmatized environment in which few of us if any would want to live in.
But there is one problem… it’s almost impossible for a homeless person to find a shelter in the company of their beloved friends.
Shelter representatives have cited liability and extra insurance costs as the major reasons they don’t allow pets. This is because they are constantly on the border of closing as they operate on thin budgets and for the most part, rely on donations. As such, they don’t allocate pet liability insurance budgets to handle possible lawsuits emanating from pet-related issues, like dog bites which may increase shelter liability.
This has led to many homeless people facing the dilemma of choosing to stay on the streets or part with their longtime pets. The former has always remained the choice of many.
To hold back the tide, Inter-faith Inn operates one of the first homeless shelters in our community that allows people to bring their four-legged friends along. Building on the Inter-faith Ministries Operation Holiday program, the organization gives safe emergency housing for people; as well as their domestic animals for social and emotional support.
Want to get involved? It’s not too late:
As 2018 comes to a close we’re humbly asking everyone who can to join the ongoing and subsequent contributions towards supporting Inter-faith Inn in their efforts.
Remember no matter the size or nature of your contribution, the group will greatly appreciate your generosity. And still, If you can’t give money but still wants to do more, there are multiple other ways of giving back, like volunteering.