What could be more merry than shopping for holiday presents for the kids in our lives? While it’s super fun to make their holidays magical, don’t forget to balance out all that consumerism with some charitable giving—specifically, teaching children about the spirit of giving and helping those less fortunate during the holidays. With that in mind, here are five easy ways kids can help animals this holiday season:
1. Focus on their favorite animal. Does she love horses or dolphins? Does he love K-9 dogs? This is a perfect time of year to foster that love and show them how they can help the animals they love most in this world. Find a relevant sanctuary sure to interest them, then find ways to make it real and really bring the issue home. You can sponsor an animal in their name (which usually comes with photos and updates on the animal’s progress) and even plan a visit to a local rescue where they can see these animals being helped.
I got to pet a super soft koala bear for the first time this week while visiting Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney, Australia. This trip Down Under—seeing the native wildlife, helping shelter cats and teaching Reiki classes—has allowed me the opportunity to slow down a little and reflect on the vital role animals have played in my career and life. I’m so grateful for all of the lessons they’ve taught me through the years, and all of the heartful connections I’ve been able to make. So as my Aussie trip winds down, I’m reminded of my favorite, most inspiring quotes about animals. I’ve always loved the sentiments behind these 12 quotations (do they make you smile, too?):
“Cats are angels with fur.” – Sark
Here’s a wonderful nonprofit animal shelter I’d like to share with you today: the Cat Protection Society in Australia. I can’t wait to see the cats (and hopefully some of you) at my special one-day workshop at this shelter next Monday (click here for more info).
Cat Protection Society, which has been rescuing and rehoming cats since 1958, does such amazing work. Here are some fun facts about this wonderful shelter for cats:
BASED IN: Newtown, New South Wales, Australia
Last week, the hashtag #SaveThePlanetIn4Words was trending on Twitter—and the Twitterverse came up with so many wonderful, insightful and often hilarious ideas! It got me thinking: What four words would I choose to save the planet? Here’s what I came up with:
I truly believe this world would be a better place if we all lived with compassion for all beings. Here are 10 more smart tweets that warmed my heart:
When I started my animal Reiki business out of my living room 11 years ago, one of my biggest challenges to building my new business was finding shelters willing to allow me in so I could bring Reiki to the animals. Back then, no one had even heard of Reiki! So imagine how difficult it was to open those doors and make those connections. But with a lot of perseverance, one by one I found people with open hearts and minds willing to take a chance on me.
Since then, I’ve been able to work with animals and bring Reiki programs to BrightHaven Sanctuary, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the San Francisco SPCA in California; Best Friends Animal Society in Utah; Animal Haven in New York City; Chenoa Manor Farm Sanctuary in Pennsylvania; The CARE Foundation in Florida; and even to sanctuaries worldwide—like Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in the UK. Today my nonprofit SARA, which I co-founded with Leah D’Ambrosio to bring Reiki programs to shelters around the world, has more than 400 members worldwide and Reiki programs in shelters and sanctuaries across the U.S., Canada, England and Australia.