I've written several times in the past about my #1 favorite Pay It Forward activity - "Adopting" a family at Christmas time through Compass Family Services. That remains my top endeavor and this Christmas will mark our 6th annual participation. By now, my family and I can't imagine celebrating Christmas without including the Adopt-a-Family program.
However, this year we have added a new volunteering activity which is taking me out of my element and broadening my horizons--volunteering at the Peninsula Humane Society, providing TLC for dogs awaiting adoption.
Since our 15 year old granddaughter loves animals and hopes to become an assistant at a veterinarian clinic, this summer my husband, Gene and I enrolled along with Credense in a very thorough training and screening program for volunteers. Various volunteer programs are in place; Credense chose Dog TLC.
The Tom Lantos Center is housed in a state-of-the-art building (even the garage is a delight, as the cover picture shows) and is a no-kill shelter where forever families are found for 100% of the adoptable dogs and cats. While at the shelter a large number of volunteers play with, pat, cuddle, give TLC, exercise and walk dogs. We've visited with many chihuahuas, several German Shepherds, boxers, terriers, and bull dogs (sorry, I'm not personally comfortable with pit bulls; I might get there some day, but not yet.)
A benefit we discovered last Saturday: after showing a lease listing to a prospective tenant, Credense and I stopped for lunch before heading to the SPCA. We were wearing our required volunteer shirts. Credense was approached by another diner, who asked about volunteer opportunities that might suit their middle-school age son. Nice to be a good-will ambassador!
I have never owned a dog (only borrow Tanner the Golden Retriever from time to time) and am a neophyte with dogs. Not only am I helping the dogs, they are teaching me -- a win/win situation!