Would you like to make a donation to an organization that helps animals without homes?
One can gain valuable insight into people’s personalities by volunteering to collect donations for the Meriden Humane Society in front of grocery stores or department stores for three hours at a time. It is always fascinating, and it frequently makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but it is not always pleasant. When it comes to helping animals in need, the majority of people’s generosity never ceases to amaze me and impress me in a positive way. The long history of public support for the Meriden Humane Society is already a matter of public record, considering that the Meriden Humane Society was incorporated in the year 1893.
As you approach each shopper, you should ask them if they would like to make a donation to the local animal shelter. or “Would you like to make a donation to help animals that are without homes?” When one does this, they are met with a variety of responses. Some of them are as easy as saying “Of course.” Before they even leave the store, there are some people who have already prepared their cash donations. Some people give their children money to put in the hat while others donate directly.
On the other hand, when the question is posed, you may get a direct stare but no verbal response as you are passed by. This occurs sometimes when the question is posed. When I was trying to explain to a coworker why I wasn’t getting a response to my solicitation, I mentioned that I found it hard to understand why no one was interested until he pointed out the similarities between my request and the requests made by homeless people for money. In either scenario, there are some people who simply ignore the situation and walk on by in silence.
To help pass the time, I play a game with myself in which I try to guess whether or not a person who is approaching me will donate money. There are no consistent patterns to be found. For instance, a senior citizen will sometimes make a generous donation and say something along the lines of, “I don’t have any animals, but my son does,” or they will tell me about the dozens of stray cats that they feed behind where they live. Other times, they will simply say “thank you.” In light of this, I was taken aback when, in response to my inquiry as to whether or not they would like to make a donation to assist stray and abandoned animals, an elderly couple gave me cold stares, and the husband murmured something under his breath as he walked away from the conversation, saying, “Kill them all.” That didn’t make me feel particularly motivated to wish him well and have a good day, for some reason.
Caustically asking, “Who’s going to collect for the poor people?” was one young man as he marched by the crowd of people. By being able to retort that I am a social worker by profession and an animal welfare worker by avocation, I am typically able to take the wind out of their sails when it comes to that particular argument.
Sometimes people are more direct. “I don’t like animals,” one man in his twenties barked. On the other hand, as another individual was donating money, he remarked, “Animals are superior to people because at least they have loyalty.”
Even though there are literally only seconds to say goodbye to each customer as they leave the store, there are unavoidably going to be conversations with some of them. A woman who was wearing a t-shirt depicting a large cat explained that she has 17 cats, all of which were found as strays and subsequently rescued. “Just now, a lady called to tell me about a stray kitten she discovered outside. “What was I to do, just leave it out there?” she asked rhetorically. “What was I to do, just leave it out there?” I never fail to offer my heartfelt gratitude to those who go out of their way to help others, and I always conclude by praying that God will bless them. There are simply not enough people in the world who are like you.
Another woman came up to me and mentioned that her son was about to have a baby and that she needed my assistance in finding new homes for his cats. I believed she was referring to her son-in-law, so I asked her what having a baby had to do with the fact that they needed to get rid of their companion animals. She explained that her son-in-law was pregnant. I finally understood what she was trying to convey when she said that his cat had “babies,” and that he required assistance in locating suitable homes for them. I didn’t bother to tell her that cats have kittens, not babies; instead, I asked her in a direct manner why her son did not have his cat spayed before this incident took place. I was surprised to hear her answer. She asserted in a feeble manner, “It got out by accident.” I harped on the point that “that is why they need to be spayed and neutered.”
One young man’s remark, which was about the abundance of donations in my collection bucket, may have been the most eloquent way to summarize the experience of trying to solicit donations. When asked about the blatant display of generosity, he replied, “What goes around comes around.” I nodded in agreement and said, “Yes, I think that it does.”
For the sake of the animals,
The Vice President of the Meriden Humane Society, Inc. is Gregory M. Simpson.
Meriden Humane Society, Inc. is a no-kill shelter that was incorporated in Connecticut by legislative charter in 1893. Gregory Simpson serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors at Meriden Humane Society, Inc. In addition to that, Friends of Animals, Inc., a national organization, has counted on him in the past as a state advisor. In the issue of CAT FANCY that was published in December 2005, he was recognized as one of the 40 Ultimate Cat Lovers in the United States.