The 23-year-old chart-topping singer donated $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in addition to all her other charity activities during the year… in particular for young cancer sufferers. This year, too, she became the youngest ever recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Center’s Ripple of Hope Award, in recognition of her charitable work.
And another young person was at number two in the poll – 20-year-old Miley Cyrus was recognised for her extensive charity work, including support for TOMS’ One Day Without Shoes, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, the Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation; but above all for her efforts this year on behalf of Saving Spot! Rescue, which finds homes for dogs from high-kill shelters.
Lady Gaga – whose charitable work we have mentioned previously – was beaten into fourth place by Channing Tatum, who reached the number three slot for raising millions for the Rainforest Foundation, along with his wife Jenna Dewan-Tatum. The couple also support the charities Angels for Animals and The Gentle Barn.
Jaiden Mika with Faith (Photo credit: Stanley Times)
Last week I posted a blog about a teen, Kylie Hill, who has been working on behalf of homeless pets. Today I came across news of an even younger volunteer devoting his time and energies to this cause.
Nine-year-old Jaiden Mika began assisting at the Lake County Animal Control Center four months ago, taking dogs for walks and participating in pet adoption events. Earlier this month – with help from his teacher Mrs Plant – he organised a fundraiser, Paws for Pets, at his school, Jane Ball Elementary, in Cedar Lake, Indiana (USA). And at his birthday party he held a prize competition to encourage his friends to donate, too: the biggest donation was rewarded with a stuffed toy.
But Jaiden’s good works don’t end there – with his mother Violet’s agreement he even took in a couple of new-born puppies himself (Faith and Hope), to care for them until permanent homes could be found. Again, this echoes Kylie’s story. Unfortunately, Hope didn’t live long enough to be placed – which was very upsetting for all involved – but Faith was eventually adopted by a loving family, and Jaiden’s mother says that although he was sorry to lose his precious charge, he was delighted that the new owners were “wonderful people”, whom he believes will provide exactly what the young pup needs. Violet says that this was a great object lesson for him in unselfish love.
If, as Mahatma Gandhi once said, “One can measure the greatness and the moral progress of a nation by looking at how it treats its animals”, then young people such as these must reassure us that the future of our world is indeed in good hands.
Photo credit: Cindy Hill
It’s a sad fact that many thousands of homeless animals (especially dogs and cats) are euthanised every year – often by centres that are trying to save them, but where there is just not enough accommodation available. So it’s good to hear of a young lady who is taking matters into her own hands, and rescuing as many as she can, to give them a home herself.
Kylie Hill – a student at Marcus Whitman High School, New York – works in her spare time at the Eastview Veterinary Clinic and has been so saddened by the number of healthy animals that are put down, there, that since July she has taken home 11 dogs, several pigs, a baby goat, and more than 20 cats. They are costing her a small fortune to have spayed or neutered, and to keep them in food, but she is determined to provide the care and attention that they so desperately need. She keeps them until she is able to find them more permanent homes, and in the meantime pays for all necessary veterinary attention. Her belief – one that I wholeheartedly endorse (as can be seen from my personal page on this website) – is that all living creatures deserve a life and shouldn’t be just disposed of, as if they were simply objects.
Fortunately, many of Kylie’s friends and family support her commendable work, both in principle and with practical assistance, so her altruistic project seems likely to continue. What a hero this teenager is, and exactly the sort of young person that we at Generosity News and the Chreda Foundation are trying to encourage.
Talking of which… this evening I will be attending the Neath Port Talbot Youth Volunteer Awards, so tomorrow I hope to report back on that exciting event. Watch this space! And so that you don’t forget to check in, why not sign up to our RSS feed, right now?
Photo credit: Pet Collection World
Do you live in or near Ilminster? Are you a dog-lover? Would you like to help out the charity Cinnamon Trust, which brings together volunteers and elderly or terminally-ill people who need assistance with their pets?
Generosity News normally serves up reports of what people have done, are doing, or are planning to do for charity or in the name of altruism… it’s not often that I put out an appeal for volunteers. But having seen an article in yesterday’s online newspaper, thisisthewestcountry, which highlighted the shortage of volunteers that the charity is currently experiencing in Ilminster, I thought it would be appropriate to flag this up, today, in the hope that some of my readers are from that area and may be prompted to help.
A spokesperson for the charity, Sally Collins, was reported as saying that due to a shortage of volunteers in the Ilminster area a West Highland Terrier is not receiving much-needed walks: volunteer dog-walkers are urgently required, even if they are only able to give up an hour a week. As Ms Collins says, “it will improve the dog’s quality of life”, while giving the owner “peace of mind”.
The charity, whose patrons are Katie Boyle, Virginia McKenna, Nerys Hughes, Sir Peter O’Sullevan, and Sir Paul McCartney, has the motto “Peace of mind and practical help for people – love, care and safety for pets”. It helps keep owners and pets together, by providing volunteers to carry out a variety of tasks such as cleaning bird cages, walking dogs for housebound people, and fostering pets when their owners have to go into hospital.
You can contact Sally by calling 01736-758707 or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Rector Ray Hanna blesses a dog at the annual Blessing of the Animals.
Photo credit: Karen Fullerton
The 4th of October is the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals. In recognition of his love for all God’s creatures a special ceremony takes place in many churches around the world, either on that day, or on the closest Sunday, which is – of course – today. This ceremony, known as the Blessing of the Animals, results in the unusual sight of churches filled with all kinds of animals… both companion and farmyard animals. In medieval times, of course, it was common for animals to be found inside places of worship, but it is not something we normally expect these days.
In my younger days – when I was more actively involved with an animal welfare charity for young people (Animals’ Voice) I organised a number of such services in local churches, so it was with interest that I read of one that will be taking place this afternoon at Trinity Episcopal Church, North Carolina, USA. Rector Ray Hanna says that the event, which is a joint effort with Holy Angels Catholic Church, has alternated between the two venues for the last 12 years. The service will commence at 2pm, and (as would be expected) is open to the public. All donations will go to a local charity, the Sergei Foundation. The Foundation provides financial aid to families who are unable to afford emergency veterinary care. It was named by founder Karen Fullerton after a beloved family pet – a Siberian Husky, Sergei, who died from health complications. So far this year, it has been able to help 45 animals, at a total cost of $1,600: any monies raised by today’s service will be greatly appreciated, and put to good use by the charity, which prides itself on being totally transparent.
Karen and her husband Phillip have close ties with Trinity Episcopal Church, where he sings in the choir.
As indicated on my personal page, I share St Francis’ views on God’s creatures, so I heartily endorse both the Blessing service and the Foundation that it will support.