Operation Santa Paws

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Operation Santa Paws Poster / Copyright © Mark Posch.


The holiday season is fast approaching, which means shopping lists are getting longer. If you’re like me, you always make room on your list for your pets—nothing beats a shiny new toy in their eyes—but for animals that call a shelter home, gifts are a rare treat.

In the spirit of giving, consider donating to a local animal shelter this holiday season. There are many ways to contribute, but one program I came across recently is Operation Santa Paws, which is part of the Haute Dog Organization. Since 2001, founder Justin Rudd has worked to provide shelters across the country with thousands of treats and supplies. In a 2012 interview with Long Beach newspaper, Gazettes, Rudd said, “It’s a bittersweet thing when you visit a shelter.” He continued, “You try to help a pet knowing some are on their last leg.”

In the United States, roughly 8-12 million companion animals wind up in shelters every year, where an estimated 5-9 million are euthanized. Animal shelters aren’t always equipped to keep up with the high demands placed on them because of issues like pet overpopulation. Shelters rely on donations to keep animals active—mentally and physically—especially younger ones that need constant attention.

Looking to donate? See this list of drop-off locations to find the one nearest you.

The WISH LIST includes item such as:

  • Durable puppy/dog toys
  • Dog treats
  • Dry puppy and canned kitten food
  • Water bowls
  • Flannel blankets for kittens
  • 6’ nylon dog leashes

Operation Santa Paws collects donations nationwide throughout December (1-19), so there’s plenty of time left to help! If you can’t adopt a shelter animal, you can still make them feel a little more at home this holiday season.

National Philanthropy Day

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Philanthropy is the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes. In honor of National Philanthropy Day, I want to chat and chew about CRBG’s outreach efforts coming in 2015.

THE BEGINNING

In 2010, CRBG established Compass Rose Charities, Inc. (CRC), a nonprofit charitable corporation that provides financial assistance to members of the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, and State Department.

GIVING BACK

Over the years, CRC has held annual golf events that raise money for that year’s charity of choice, such as Companions for Heroes (C4H) and Operation Purple, in addition to providing several $5,000 scholarships for students of employees of the Intelligence Community.  This coming year, CRC is excited to announce Honor Flight* as its charity of choice.

ONE MORE TOUR WITH HONOR

Honor Flight’s mission is to charter a flight of veterans from around the country to Washington, DC in order to visit their WWII, Korean, and Vietnam War Memorials.  Since getting off the ground in 2006,the Honor Flight Program has flown more than 98,500 veterans to visit their monuments and memorials.

Recently, CRBG’s Vice President, Sherri Hebert, had the distinct pleasure of volunteering as a veteran’s buddy for the day.  While sharing her experience, it was clear that the day’s events had a significant impact.  Sherri was touched by the remarkable humbleness of the veterans, as well as the deep appreciation other tourists had for the group as they walked around DC.  This program and its volunteers alike have shown a profound respect for the men and women who have fought for our country—it is charitable efforts like Honor Flight’s that remind us of our duty to give back.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Whether you choose to spend the day with a veteran, or volunteer at a local soup kitchen, all philanthropy is equally important. Giving back comes in all shapes and sizes, and is rewarding for everyone involved. Charitable programs don’t benefit from just money and time alone – awareness helps as well.  So, feel like sharing your charity of choice with us? Please do. We would love to help spread the word!

*For more history on the program, visit www.compassrosecharities.org.