Keeping Up with the Dundees: No More Homeless Pets
While February is a month-long celebration of random acts of kindness, the Dundees infuse kindness and service into everything they do every day through Small Acts Big Change™ (SABC). Last month, the Dundees sent Valentine’s Day cards to residents in nursing facilities and long-term care centers to stave off increasing rates of loneliness. Despite the challenges we have all faced in 2020 and 2021, SABC broke records with this campaign: 1,754 volunteers from 27 states delivered cards to 5,354 seniors in 46 nursing homes nationwide. Luckily, love overcame the borders and barriers that the Dundees have not encountered in previous years.
Valentines for Seniors wrapped up on February 13th, leaving the remainder of the month open for a special, unplanned project. SABC’s annual campaign planned for March, Arts in Education, was canceled last minute due to in-person event restrictions. While this campaign is on hold until 2022, Operation 500 Books came to fruition quickly. “Operation 500 Books is a project we have worked on, on and off, over the past 9 years. Our goal is to place 500 books into the hands of under-privileged children to encourage a love for reading [sic]. Volunteers get involved, [and] we fill Free Little Libraries with books and also donate books to libraries at schools where there is a need,” explains LSS sophomore Gracie. To date, SABC has already surpassed its goal without skipping a beat between campaigns.
March’s campaign, No More Homeless Animals, is all about saving animals in need of a home. The Dundees are focused on changing the lives of cats, dogs, and other furry creatures through spreading awareness, fundraising, gathering supplies, and pairing deserving paws with open, loving arms.
How the Magic Begins
With millions living in shelters throughout America, these animals’ lives are in danger without sufficient supplies and support. Each homeless animal goes through several phases before finding a forever home:
- He/she is rescued and/or fostered in a secure, temporary place.
- He is neutered/she is spayed to minimize potential danger to him/her and other animals.
- He/she is placed into a loving home or safe space to live a happy, healthy life.
One family may not have the resources or the time to see every animal through this process, but, with a team to divide and conquer, the Dundees can surely make a significant difference. Having saved 113 animals in 2020, SABC’s goal is to save 125 this year.
Alumna Lauren understands that SABC must follow its own formula to lead a successful campaign, starting with a lot of helping hands:
“Through outreach, education, and service, our goal is to gather as many people as we can to help prevent the killing of every single pet in shelters, one by one. Together with a great team of volunteers and partner organizations, we support low-cost spay/neuter programs and trap-neuter-return programs to significantly reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats. Our projects promote animal fostering, and we work to find loving and forever homes for the pets who have no home.”
With the help of dedicated individuals and partners, SABC can reach its goal and change these animals’ lives for the better.
How the Goal is Reached
This month’s campaign consists of three individual projects to fund, foster, and fulfill. The Dundees have a strategy to execute their three-prong plan, which offers ways for the LSS community to get involved:
- Fund. Through the “Give a Dollar, Make a Difference” project, SABC raises money to save animals from euthanization and pay for their medical care and rescue fees. A single dollar helps fund a pledge for a pet’s life, which costs $25 per animal. As SABC’s only planned fundraiser, this funding is crucial to giving animals a new chance at life. This year, the Dundees will use coin collection cans throughout the community and host a Facebook fundraiser to reach $3,125 to save the lives of 125 animals.
- Foster. Through “Fostering Saves Lives,” the Dundees plan to foster several litters of kittens this spring and use advocacy, outreach, and education to encourage others to do the same through their local shelters.
- Fulfill. With “Supplies Drive,” SABC is gathering donations and money to provide shelter animals with pet beds, blankets, food, formula, litter, and toys. Those looking to contribute can shop this Amazon Smile Wish List, which ships the purchased items to SABC for distribution to Los Angeles shelters. People can also send needed items directly to No More Homeless Pets, Small Acts Big Change, PO Box 1374, La Canada, CA 91012.
Gracie explains how these supplies—and all of the above efforts—will help save and change animals’ lives forever: “our goal is to provide warm blankets, beds, food and other much-needed supplies to animals in need to help make them feel comfortable until the day they are adopted into their forever homes. All month long we’ll collect supplies to help the animals at the shelters who are waiting for their forever homes.” The impact of all three projects can save at least 125 animals and set the stage for many other opportunities to prevent animal homelessness and euthansia. To learn how you can help out further, check out Small Acts Big Change’s blog, Make a Difference from Home.
Books and barks abound! The Dundees have maximized creativity and positive change in a pandemic-stricken world. April is just around the corner with a new campaign to inspire and engage us. Until then, keep up with the Dundees and SABC on their blog and on social media for more opportunities to make a difference and keep your eyes out for a way to earn community service hours by reading and recording stories for kids in need.