By Rissa Guffey
BioForward Marketing Manager

At this time of year, especially during these unprecedented coronavirus times, it is challenging to give of yourself freely.  Time. Talent. Treasure. But how much? To what organization?  What makes a real impact? It is a heart-wrenching conundrum, further drawn out by the new questions of:

  • is it safe to volunteer?
  • is my family in a good enough financial position for me to give?

Everyone needs to decide what is right for them and their family, but know there are a lot of options out there. As a part of our 2020 Member Holiday Celebration this year, we have put out a call to our community to help those in need. We have included some ways that people can help through volunteering or donating with organizations that we ourselves support. We have also included some information about shopping locally this holiday season!

This last year, I was finally able to fulfill a dream of mine. I LOVE animals. Due to the stay-at-home orders and virtual schooling, we decided as a family to take the plunge into animal fostering. After contacting several shelters, we were accepted to a program and brought our first litter of foster kittens into our madhouse that already had a young lab mix and two kids.  It was magical. And messy, and fun, and noisy, and cuddly, and stinky… so many words to describe an experience that has been overwhelmingly positive for my family. Teaching us about working together, respect, giving back, caring for animals so they can ultimately find the right family, and yes, sometimes learning to deal with loss.

This kind of program benefits the shelters because they don’t need to provide the space, the food, the human interaction, transportation, the litter, or devote as much time, but in return for being a foster family the benefits are priceless. I would recommend this for anyone who has some extra room in their homes and their hearts as a way to make a big impact for animals in need of help. So far we have brought 10 kittens through our home to their forever homes and we plan to continue on.

You can learn more about my charitable organization selection on our Holiday Celebration event page. Also, please share your stories with all of us. Not only will you be entered in a drawing for a gift card that will support shopping at a local shop, but also you will be a part of uplifting the spirits of all. When you give, despite what you give or how much, what you get back is priceless.

Seasons Greetings,

Rissa