Posts Tagged ‘sanctuary’

5 ways to give back this Thanksgiving

First, dear friends, I want to wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Are you staying close to home this year or traveling? I will be spending a cozy afternoon with my family at my parents’ house. My mom always cooks up an amazing feast.

With Thanksgiving just a day away, I got to thinking about the different ways we can give back and show our thanks this year …

1. Save a turkey. It costs just $30 to sponsor a turkey this Thanksgiving, thanks to Farm Sanctuary’s special Adopt-a-Turkey Project. The photos and bios of the turkeys available for adoption are guaranteed to warm your heart.

2. Visit an animal shelter with your kids, nieces and nephews, or grandchildren. The animals always appreciate visitors, and it’s a great way to encourage giving back at a young age.

3. Write a handwritten letter or card to a parent, friend or other loved one thanking them for something thoughtful and kind they’ve done for you.

4. Offer a free Reiki treatment to your vet or local shelter or sanctuary.

5. Donate to your favorite animal charity, shelter or sanctuary. It doesn’t have to be money (though they love cash!). Other helpful items include gift cards to a pet store, rope toys and chews, laundry detergent and bleach, paper towels, newspaper and hand sanitizer. If you’re not sure, most shelters offer wish lists of needed items.

What about you? I’d love to hear how you’re showing thanks or being thankful this holiday.

Sanctuary spotlight: Best Friends Animal Society

In 2010, Best Friends Animal Society invited me to teach Reiki to a team of their volunteers. I couldn’t wait to share Reiki with the animals. So Charlotte Jensen (my sister), Leah D’Ambrosio (my SARA co-founder) and I piled into a car and made the long desert drive from Vegas to beautiful Utah. We had so much fun! (You can read more about it here.)

Following are some fun facts about Best Friends, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary this past weekend at its national conference in Las Vegas. Congrats on three decades of dedication to the no-kill movement!

CLAIM TO fame: Best Friends is the largest sanctuary for homeless animals in the U.S.

BASED IN: Kanab, Utah

WHERE THE money goes: 78.7% of every dollar directly supports sanctuary programs. (See a full breakdown here.)

NUMBER OF animals at the sanctuary: About 1,700

OPEN HEARTS, open minds: Best Friends welcomes all healing modalities when caring for the animals (including Reiki!).

SWEET SUCCESS story: China, the loving and gentle dog we “borrowed” for our overnight—who lost her owners in Hurricane Katrina—found her forever home last year.

CRAZY FACT: According to Best Friends, Cat World goes through 255,500 pounds of cat litter per year (that’s 700 pounds per day).

STAR POWER: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Alyssa Milano, Bill Maher and dozens more lend their support as “celebrity ambassadors.” But Best Friends points out that contributions from individual supporters like us actually fund the majority of the work they do.

TRAVEL TIP: If you choose to stay in one of their cozy cottages like we did, be on the lookout for the “cute” spiders (on the ceiling…in the blankets…on the walls…). Maybe they wanted Reiki, too?

DON’T MISS: Find your peace at Angel’s Landing, a majestic natural amphitheater (and ancient healing ground of the Anasazi) surrounded by trees and carved into a towering rock wall.

{Photos © Charlotte Jensen}