As we began talking about our Rose Brooks clothing drive and upcoming Flipping Favorites event, hopefully our biggest to date, Sarah and Marie from Rose Brooks Center came over one afternoon to collaborate on ideas. We talked about graphics and time frames and logistics. Event planning is easy. Then as we grew closer to the end of our conversation, Sarah told us about the animal shelter that is in the works to open in May. It was, in part, developed because of a woman in an abusive relationship. Her abuser was striking her with a hammer, when her Great Dane laid down across her body to shield the blows. This dog took the beating from the hammer, and the woman fled the scene. She went to her car, and the abuser threw the dog, by its neck down a staircase and out to the curb. She scooped up her dog, now severely beaten, and they went directly to the police station, as the abuser followed them.
Rose Brooks staff came to the police station to take this woman into protection, but she told them there was no way she would go to the shelter without her dog, who had saved her life. They had been asked this before, families fearing the safety of their pets if they fled the abuse. They let her bring the dog, and placed him in the basement of the facility, knowing full well this was breaking rules. As they began to build the new wing, they decided that, yes, they could include an animal shelter, only the second like it in the United States, because of the need and the benefit to those at Rose Brooks Center.
This story was so far from my comfort level, but it happens. It happened. It filled me with many emotions. So sad for the women who need to be saved. Glad that the shelter would become larger, and that family pets could come as well, to seek protection. Proud to be putting energy into a fund raiser and fabulous event. It's so hard to see the need in the world, or our city, and not want to help all causes. We get overwhelmed with our compassion. I come back to the thought that we are all in this together.
Help whenever you can, always use care in your words and actions, and step out of your comfort level and look at the bigger picture. We can all help, in small ways. A container of peanut butter to the guy standing with his torn sign reading, "anything would help." at the intersection, or a donation of a dress to this event. It's small, but comes from a place of compassion towards all. We need this now, more than ever. Random acts of kindness, doesn't just have to be a bumper sticker, we can work it in daily.