For her seventh birthday my daughter wanted to have a birthday party for all of her friends. Like her mother, she has the gene that always wants to include everyone, so the guest list was growing by the day. I was resisting the party idea mainly because I did not want any more plastic toys – or stuff in general – to enter the house. So, inspired by an idea from one of my friends a few years ago, I decided to see if she was really in it for her friends – or for the gifts. I told her that we could have a party with all of her friends, but that instead of gifts, she would have to pick a charity and ask people to bring items or money for that cause. Without a moment’s hesitation, she said, “Sure. I want to help animals.”
I asked our favorite vet, Dr. Tyler at The Village Vets if there was a shelter she could recommend as a beneficiary and she put us in touch with Lindy Barrett-Grove at Hightower Farm and Animal Sanctuary.
Lindy, who started bringing home lost and injured animals when she was a child, rescues pets that are commonly labeled “unadoptable,” such as senior dogs, cats and horses as well as pets with life-threatening diseases and/or permanent disabilities. Every animal that comes to Hightower has a home for life, even if it does not get adopted. We had the privilege of meeting Lindy and her motley – yet adorable crew of critters this week when we dropped off the proceeds from the party totaling over $260! Later that night, my daughter exclaimed that it was the best birthday ever! I could tell that she genuinely felt that it is more fulfilling to give than to receive.
If you are planning to add a pet to your family, please consider adopting one of the many animals in shelters across the country that is in need of a loving home.
May we strive to embrace Hightower’s vision, “To create a sanctuary where animals are well fed, well loved, and unafraid. To promote understanding and compassion between humans and animals…In short, to create a better world from our little corner of [the world].”
It was wonderful meeting you and your children as well, Beth. The critters always love having visitors. BTW, the grand total came to $280 in donations for the sanctuary. You guys are awesome! Thank you again!
P.S. Just a note related to your comment about adopting a shelter pet…. Remember to always SPAY and NEUTER your pets too!!!!! That’s the only we are going to be able to lower the number of homeless animals in this country.
What a beautiful story. Your daughter is fortunate to have a mother tuned in to the reality of the world around her. Children learn by example.
I have four grandchildren who “want” for nothing….except awareness, which Granny “D” is instilling. Because other relatives provide all the material excesses, I made a decision to change my giftgiving. I now give to different charities in their names. They respond as your daughter did, with pleasure in helping others less fortunate.
Peace to you and your family.
that is wonderful! What a kind and giving daughter you have! You must have been so proud that she made the right choice. It just gives your reassurance as a parent that you are doing a smashing job!