Last Friday a wildfire started near town. There is an animal rescue sanctuary in that area, and all the animals needed to be evacuated. Somehow the word got out, and people just started showing up. Many had never even heard of the sanctuary before. In a matter of hours all the animals that could be moved were taken to other locations.
Most ended up at a local equestrian center. People continued to show up eager to help in any way they could. One woman and her children dropped by with a bag full of apples. It was a small thing, but the animals appreciated it, and the workers, many of whom had been going several days without sleep, were lifted by the kindness. Everytime a new need was identified someone stepped up to take care of it. The animals were made as comfortable as possible.
When the evacuation order was lifted the word went out again, and Sunday morning people started showing up to help move the animals back home. Those not involved in moving animals got to work cleaning out the stalls with an enthusiastic thoroughness that the county animal control people were impressed. By the end of the day, after a break to keep the animals out of the midday heat, all the animals were home again and de-stressing.
I’m certain similar stories occurred over and over in the lives of the people evacuated from the fire zone and those who lost their houses. There is something in the American spirit that makes people get up out of their comfortable homes to go where the trouble is and say “How can I help?” We’re not perfect, of course, but often it’s not because we don’t want to help, but because we’re just not aware that help is needed.
Give Americans a problem to solve and a chance to help, and chances are they’ll step forward, roll up their sleeves, and get the job done.
The Ching Farm Animal Rescue & Sanctuary struggles in the best of times to care for all the animals that need their help. The recent evacuation strapped their resources considerably. Any monetary help would be deeply appreciated. Go here for more information.