I have said many times that the most challenging aspect of our project is scheduling a volunteer experience for each week. Sometimes we are faced with the challenge of a scheduled activity falling through or being cancelled due to circumstances out of our control. That is what we dealt with this week. We were scheduled to volunteer with an organization who, at the last-minute, had a change of plans which left us without a planned volunteer experience for the week. Unfortunately, our community is full of need and our lack of somewhere to instead was short-lived. Just hours after the cancellation was confirmed, we had another volunteer activity planned. All we had to do was open our eyes and look around.
We volunteered to sort stuffed toys for H.O.P.E for Animals. H.O.P.E for Animals is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia of animals through education, rescue, and low-cost spay/neuter and wellness services. H.O.P.E is actually an acronym for the Humane Organization for the Prevention of Euthanasia. It is a first class organization that provides first class services for animals. This is our second experience volunteering with this organization in the last six months. This is not something we typically do as we try to volunteer with a different, new organization each week during the project calendar year. However, we do not ever want to lose sight of filling the needs of our community. Our goal is to serve with new organizations consistently, but our mission to positively impact our community and help where our help is needed. That is what took us to H.O.P.E. They had recently received a very kind donation that consisted of more than 30 bags of stuffed toys. Each bag needed to be worked through in order to salvage the toys that can be used as toys for the dogs and cats they serve. Using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook gave the organization a quick way to connect with and reach potential volunteers. We responded to the Facebook post with a phone call and we were set to volunteer. We helped other volunteers sort the animals by category while disposing of those that could not be recycled. It was extremely easy work, but an important task for the organization.
This week we were reminded that need surrounds us every day. Any individual who wants to help and serve others does not have to look far to find the opportunities. This access means there should never be an excuse for the person who is committed to serve. All we have to do is open our eyes to need and take the time to fill it.