You ever get so over whelmed by all the people, places and things that need YOUR help that you don’t even know where or how to begin? Sometimes, its so overwhelming, you don’t feel like what you do or say would make a difference. What if, what you did made a difference? What if you knew for sure it did?
No matter how big or small, your actions make a difference – at least to one.
A quick google search reveals that this is not my original idea so, obviously, I heard or read about it somewhere. It’s called The Starfish Principle and its based on this:
For today’s installment of the Make a Difference Monday series, I’d like to highlight a few organizations that definitely demonstrate this principle – they make a difference to that one, and that one, and that one…
I no longer remember how I first heard about Adopt an Angel but my first hand experience with them came two years ago this month. My youngest son wanted a dog so I went looking on the AAA website and found “Rufus”.
Since we already had another dog named Scout ( I’m going to talk about her next!), our son was given the option to name his new little dog “Atticus”, “Boo Radley” or “Dill”. He chose Dill because, as he says, “my middle name starts with D and this name starts with D”. Yes, he was 6 years old and just named his first dog!
Adopt an Angel rescues dogs from shelters and places them in foster care. Some dogs take a really, really, long time to get adopted but the volunteers never give up. They take them to adoption fairs, they post them on Facebook, they update the website. Their work is tireless and they are wonderfully committed to the lives of the dogs ( and cats ).
Their efforts certainly made a difference to Dill!
Every county has an animal shelter. That place where NO ONE hopes a dog will end up because if no one comes to get them or they don’t get adopted well, then, its a last stop for them. The animal shelter in my county is no different – but yet, they are different. The staff work diligently to promote adoptable dogs through their Facebook page and adoption fairs. People in the community can sponsor a dog in a local publication called PawPrints Magazine. This sponsorship by a volunteer at the shelter is how we found “Nala”.
My oldest son has wanted his own dog since he was about 5 years old. At the time, we had 4 dogs already, two of whom were elderly so we kept telling him to “wait”. When our two oldest dogs crossed The Rainbow Bridge within a few months of each other, our house felt very “empty” and, as timing would occur, my son’s birthday was just a month after our second dog passed away. Do you know what he wanted for his birthday? More than anything else? Yes, a dog.
I was looking through PawPrints magazine and saw her – this medium size dog with huge ears! When I called the shelter, I was told that she was still there so I made an appointment to go visit her. “Nala” had been there for a few months, getting passed over time and time again BUT she was one of the “favorites” with the shelter staff. Once I met her, I knew she would be a great fit for our family but since she was to be my son’s dog, he had to make that same decision. To watch the two of them interact in the play yard, I knew he loved her! We brought her home that day and named her “Scout”. As I had hoped and planned, Scout and Dill are very bonded and best of friends. Every person involved in the process of allowing us to adopt Scout made a difference in her life! One more dog in their furever home!
It’s important for you to know that when you adopt a dog from a rescue or shelter, you actually save two lives – that of the one you adopted and the other dog who will take its place. The reality is that there are too many homeless animals and not enough space.
What if a dog could be rescued from a shelter, trained by a military prisoner and then placed with a Veteran? Well, that’s what Canines for Service refers to as a “Triple Win”. I have been a volunteer with Canines for Service for over ten years. I could write story after story of the impact being a part of this organization has had on my life, but for today, I just want to share one story with you – meet Leslie and Service Dog Issac.
It made a difference to Isaac to be rescued from the shelter, it made a difference to the military prisoner to train him and I know receiving Issac has made a difference in Leslie’s life. I have met them and heard her story first hand.
Canines for Service cannot rescue every dog and cannot place a service dog with every person who wants one, but for each dog rescued and each person that receives the gift of independence their efforts made a difference to that one!
There is no way that every dog can be saved. That is the sad reality of the situation. However, each of these three organizations demonstrate the concept of The Starfish Principle – one by one, their efforts made difference to that one!
How can you make a difference to just one thing today? How can you live out the concept of The Starfish Principle?