Calling All Heroes

Well, here we are, well into another bright and promising New Year. But how many of us are already struggling to live up to our New Year’s resolutions? 

Did you already give in and have that piece of cake you swore off? Have you gone to exercise class yet? Taken those walks? Cleaned out that closet?  Don’t feel bad, you have plenty of company.

Each year at this time millions of seniors focus on their personal flaws and resolve to do something that will make themselves better. But I would like to offer you a different idea: This year, instead of focusing on your flaws and shortcomings, focus instead on your talents and strengths. Instead of asking yourself, “What can I do to become a better person?” ask yourself instead, “What can I do, in my own special way, to make a better world?”

In my work with seniors over the years, I have heard so many comment in ways that break my heart. “Laura,” they will say to me, “I would like to volunteer in my community, but what’s the use? I’m too old. I can’t get around like I used to. What can one old person like me really do to make a difference?”

What can one person do to help the world? The answer is simple. Just do what you can.

As seniors and retired folks, we may not have as much money or energy as we used to have. But we have the time, and the life experiences, and the heart, and the desire to do something that makes a difference for those around us. What other age group is so blessed? What a shame if we feel called to volunteer, but we don’t answer the call.

Frequent readers of this column know that my passion is in volunteering with animal rescue groups. May I suggest that you join me in this worthy cause by volunteering in your own neighborhood or community? No matter what your age or condition, I assure you there are many ways you can help make a difference for a homeless dog or cat, including:

You can adopt and love a ‘senior’ animal who just wants a warm home, a cozy lap and a soft hand to pet and love them in their final years. 

You can help with mailings or fundraisers.

You can go to the shelter now and then and cuddle new kittens

You can foster a frightened animal

You can sign up at the shelter to answer phones, greet visitors, do filing, assist in off-site events, or organize pet-food drives

If you can sew, you can make cat toys or dog blankets for the shelter

You can do some of these things from your own home! If you can only spend an hour or tow a week, that’s great—just do what you can, and you’ll be a hero to a lonely dog or cat.

Be an example for others, your family, your grandchildren, show them what ‘compassion in action’ looks like, and get them involved too. In the end, when we look back on our lives, we don’t think about how much money we made, the cars, the homes, or even the mistakes, we’ll think about what we stood for, and did I make a positive difference for others.

The great news is its NEVER to late to start making a difference! 

for information on where to volunteer in Snohomish County, contact the Everett Animal Shelter or you can contact me at: