BT Members going to Louisiana (9/16/05)
Our own Sandy Rogers and Sarah Johnson, along with Wendy Vogelgesang from Southern California, are putting aside their personal and professional lives for a week to volunteer at an animal shelter in Louisiana. They are doing this all on their own financially, with no assistance from any organizations. All have managed to wrangle free flights using mileage awards, but they will have considerable expenses in addition – rental car, motorhome rental (so they have a place to stay), gas, food, inoculations, who knows what else. Not to mention lost revenue from the time away from their livelihoods.
This all started when Sandy and I were talking at the Labor Day trial, and I expressed my feeling of helplessness that I couldn’t do anything for the abandoned animals other than throw money at the organizations that are doing the work. She went one step further and said that she was even thinking about trying to go there just to help out – even if that meant scrubbing crates all day. The next day, I saw an appeal for exactly that type of help posted on the AgileDogs list and forwarded it to her. The next thing I knew, Wendy had posted a notice on the list saying that she and Sandy were going, and could anybody hook them up with an RV or trailer to stay in. Sarah got involved when I called her to say we needed to help them out – her response was “help them, hell I’m going too.”
When they actually started calculating the cost of the trip, they called the volunteer coordinator and asked if the money would be better spent if they just sent a check. To their surprise, the answer was a vehement NO – apparently the shelters have supplies, they need bodies. That clinched the decision.
I applaud these three because they’re actually doing what I wish I could do. They are all nervous and more than a little scared – after all, they are going into unknown territory with unknown mayhem to do unknown chores amid unknown horror. They will not return the same people as when they left. I can’t go with them, but I can throw a little money their way to help offset their expenses and revenue losses.
I know that many you have already shown tremendous generosity to the various organizations that I’ve posted previously, in addition to the fundraisers at the Bay Team trial. But if you have any more to spare to help them out, I know that they would be very grateful. Everything they get will go to their expenses, and if there is anything left, they will give it to whatever facilities they feel need it the most. After all, they’ll be able to see who needs it first-hand. Obviously this isn’t tax-deductible, but that’s not going to stop me from reaching out.
Sarah and Sandy will both be at the VAST trial this weekend. If you slip one of them a $5, a $10, a $20 or a check for more, they will not turn it down and it will go directly into the pot. I’ll be at the SFDrake AKC trial helping out Wendy Gurney on and off this weekend, so you can do the same there – leave it with me or Wendy. If you would rather use Paypal, I’ll open my account for collecting – just let me know and I’ll give you the account ID. If you think of another way to contribute (like sending a check directly to Sandy), that’ll work too. I know this isn’t a coordinated effort, but we’ll figure out a way to get them the money. My goal is to not have this trip cost them a dime, and to let them leave a 3- or 4-figure amount behind to the groups that really need it.
Finally, Sandy wants to take a decent supply of leather slip leads – 1/2″ x 4-6′ or so. If you have one to donate to the cause, see if you can get it to VAST or AKC this weekend.