I've developed a new habit, or maybe twitch? Tic? Gesture? My left hand sneaks up, fingers fully outstretched, to cover my heart, and then I tap it twice.
The subconscious initiation of the whole hand, finger outstretched, heart tapping thing coincided with an even greater outpouring of support for Angels of Assisi this holiday season. There are people who put up Angel trees all over town, and others who bought items for the pets listed. Some fostered our homeless animals, giving them an extra measure of TLC. Many sponsored adoption fees, with the hopes of getting more pets into homes for the holidays, and that program has been so successful (18 adoptions today alone) that we were able to take in 12 new dogs and several cats.
A group from Carilion fund-raised for us by making a seriously awesome gingerbread house, and got money with each vote in the gingerbread house competition. The post office workers gathered a tremendous amount of food, litter, and treats for the animals. Restaurants and stores alike keep sending us overflowing donation boxes, and kindhearted people keep hauling them in. There were the folks who, horrified by the state of our food and supply closet, put their organizing skills to use. We had no idea that this oddball space had so much potential, but they sure fixed it up right, and just in time.
Kids have come out of the woodwork with wonderful letters and pictures. A local company has kept us in ample supply of brand new dog beds that are sent home with adoptions. Monetary donations to the Biscuit Fund, Spay and Neuter Clinic, and Adoption Center have been made with great compassion from all over the country.
Volunteers give tirelessly of their time and energy, walking dogs, cleaning cats, sweeping, mopping, and putting up the donations. We work them really hard, yet they keep coming back.
The energy of 415 Campbell is truly remarkable, and it is contagious. I was at the store earlier today, and a lady came up and asked if I was Lisa? Lisa O'Neill?!? From Angels of Assisi?!?!? As I confirmed, she very kindly and wholeheartedly said how much she loves the work that everyone does, and she watches your stories, and it makes her days better.
With all of this going on, we keep trying to portray our appreciation. Thank you, and another thank you, and- wow, look what just arrived at our door, in the mail, on-line- thank you again. The hand on heart tapping came about because words don't always express properly what is felt- a heart swelling, deep breath and hold it for an extra second gratitude because you all love the animals in our community just as much as we do.
In return, we promise to keep diligent about making life better and better not only for the animals, but for the people who love them so. You all have been amazing, you are making a real difference, and we love you for it. Tap tap.