The holiday season is a unique time where giving takes center stage and helping others becomes second nature.
Many use this time to donate to non-profits that hold special places in their lives. Although the season calls for caring for your fellow man (or woman), consider the effect donations have on the animal kingdom. Many local organizations provide much-needed care for animals through donations, and turning your thoughts to animal rescue groups, shelters, sanctuaries, or often-overlooked groups that protect animals (or their habitats) when choosing a non-profit will certainly make a difference.
Local organizations helping animals come in a wide variety, as do their goals. The Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club takes pride in protecting the earth’s ecosystems and resources. Donations help protect the earth from the dangers inherent in gas and oil production, which can have a detrimental impact on animal habitats.
Two local non-profit with worthwhile goals are the Wichita Animal Action League and Beauties and Beasts, which rely solely on public donations. Besides providing safekeeping for animals brought to them for care, the WAAL investigates reports of abuse and neglect. And they spread their focus to animals large and small, from house pets to horses–if an animal is in potential danger, they will take the appropriate actions.
Beauties and Beasts, 11th Hour Rescue, is focused on death row animals from the shelter and in our community and placing them in foster homes where they can receive the care and training needed to become family pets. Their primary mission is to change these animals’ worlds one rescue at a time. Another large part of their work is to be a voice for animals in need throughout our community and make an impact on the streets of our city as well. Neither group discriminates against breed, age, medical needs, or behavior. The caring individuals who volunteer for these groups love all animals and breeds the same.
Sanctuaries are another group that benefit from donations. For example, the Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary, a non-profit located in Louisburg, Kansas, specializes in caring for endangered large cats and educating the public about their preservation needs. Large cats are often thought of as pets; however, they quickly become unmanageable, leading to improper care or even abuse due to misunderstandings about their needs compared to traditional pets. Due to these special needs, donations to the sanctuary are important to ensure proper veterinarian care and creating more natural habitats.
With so many organizations to consider, donating wisely is important. Care must be given to verify a non-profit makes valuable use of all donations.
Websites dedicated to objectively monitoring non-profit groups are essential tools to utilize during the decision-making process. Regardless of which cause you want to help, www.consumerreports.org/charities/best-charities-for-your-donations provides their top picks in a variety of causes. Another useful website is give.org, the BBB wise giving alliance website, which allows concerned donators to select from a list of causes and view dedicated organizations, just make sure to note the BBB accredited charity logos.
Donating can be a rewarding way to spread cheer this holiday season and a great way to start the new year. While certain causes may be important on a personal level, consider donating to local animal and habitat protection groups that may be overlooked as many donations are directed towards human causes. Whichever cause you choose, donating is a commendable action that is appreciated by the organization and those in need, so take special care to see that your donations are sent to an ethical, reputable organization.—By Kat Schneider; courtesy photographs