By Magdalena Romanow
It’s that time of the year again, the time when families come together, homes are decorated, and gifts are given.
I have to admit, it’s my favourite time of the year.
Many people agree that Christmas has become too commercialized in recent years and everything under the sun is advertised as a possible gift idea: tires, new carpet, oil changes.
People struggle to find just the right presents. They spend money on things that may never be used, or worse yet, re-gifted.
Christmas should not be stressful, or about spending ridiculous amounts of money, nor should it be about buying useless trinkets because you have no idea what to get your second cousin twice removed.
Since I have been in the rescue world for so many years, I can’t help but look at the world from that point of view.
When I buy my gifts, I make an effort to purchase things that will somehow benefit a charity. I check the back covers of calendars to see if any of the proceeds go to conservation initiatives.
I know a lot of people in the rescue world, and over the years I have gotten a good idea of what is needed to survive.
Big donations are always a plus and fundraisers can definitely put a dent in the vet bills, but ongoing monthly support seems to be one of the most important sources of revenue.
Sponsorship is the way to go.
Most rescue groups have a monthly sponsorship program. You go to their web page and check out the “ways to donate” tab.
In this day and age, you don’t even have to write out a bunch of cheques. You can donate monthly via Pay Pal, or your credit card, or even directly from your bank account.
The best thing about monthly sponsorship is that you don’t have to come up with a chunk of cash at one time, and no amount is too little.
Some groups do have monthly sponsorship rates, but no one will turn you away if you can only donate half of that.
So if you are struggling to find the right gift, if you have a person who loves animals on your list, and if you like that the gifts you give to make a difference in this world, then consider sponsoring an animal in their name.
It’s a beautiful gift and it keeps on giving.
Many rescues will send you updates on your sponsored animal – some sort of memento so you know that there is a living, breathing, soul out there benefitting from your kindness.
Isn’t that really what Christmas is about?
Magdelana Romanow is a volunteer at Katie’s Place animal shelter.