A Huge Favor

Well guys, we’ve reached the point in our relationship where I feel comfortable asking you for a huge favor. I know, I know, you think we aren’t quite there yet in our relationship. You feel that this is a bit soon. I mean we barely know each other, and here I am springing this on you. You haven’t had a chance to brush your hair, tuck in your shirt, or freshen up. Your parents haven’t had a chance to meet me, yet! Trust me, it will be ok. You’ll be fine! We’ll be fine together and your parents will come around and support you.

A Little Background

September 8th – 14th marks National Suicide Prevention Week, and as I mentioned previously, I’m devoting September’s posts to support that cause, and to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) who were recently named as one of the 50 Impactful Charities Serving Humanity, the Environment and Animals in Variety.

On Tuesday, September 10th the Central Texas Chapter of the AFSP are partnering with Phil’s Ice House and Amy’s Ice Cream. These businesses will be hosting an Out of the Darkness Party Time Event. Basically, they’ve agreed to give part of their proceeds from that day to AFSP. In order for AFSP to receive that donation, they need 50 people to go to one of those businesses and let them know they’re there to support AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk. Super easy!

Note: This only applies to the stores located at: 2901 S. Lamar Blvd. in Austin, Texas.

The Ask

This is extremely important to me, and I’m calling in that favor. I need you to not only go, but I also need you to help my team. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Walk, Run, Scooter, Bus, Uber, or Drive to the Amy’s Ice Cream or Phil’s Ice House located at: 2901 S. Lamar Blvd.
  • Place your order and say, “Hi! I’m here in support of AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk.” You can even add, “and I’d like fries with that.”
  • Take a selfie of you at Amy’s or Phil’s
  • Share your selfie on Social Media (FB, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
  • Tag American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Central Texas
  • Tag Phil’s or Amy’s
  • Tag The “Jay” Walkers

The team who has the most tagged selfies has a shot at having the money credited to their team’s fundraising effort.

That’s it! Super easy, right?

Now if you’d like to do a bit more and join my team to walk with us on Nov. 2nd, you can do so here. We’d love to have you! We’ll also be having a team meeting there that night at 6:30 pm where one of our team members, who recently went through AFSP’s training, will give a presentation on how “Talk Saves Lives”.

I’m serious when I ask (beg): Please do this one thing for me; it’s really important, and it’s a great cause. Help us prevent suicides. Help us remove the stigma surrounding seeking help for mental health issues. You can make a difference by doing something as small as eating a burger with friends, and maybe just maybe you’ll save a spouse, returning home from a trip, from living through the abject horror of discovering their partner has lost their battle with depression.

Now mark your calendar, head over there on Sept. 10th, grab a burger, some ice cream (eat it quickly; it’s super hot outside), join my team, and make a difference.

Thank you!

The Season of Giving

There are many wonderful and worthy charitable organizations in desperate need of volunteers and donations so they can continue to move forward with their missions.  The ones that are closest to my heart deal with injustice or cruelty to either people or animals.  You can tell a lot about a a society by how it treats its people.  You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their animals.

Today I’m going to focus on animals, thanks to a story a friend passed on to me last night.  As a small disclaimer, I want you to know that while I’m not quite a PETA fanatic who wants you to think of fish as “sea kittens” in an attempt to get you to stop eating them, I can get quite passionate on the subject.  I’m one of those people who have a hard time with headlines dealing with animal cruelty, like a recent story about gorilla smuggling or any number of local articles sensationally detailing acts of senseless hostility towards animals.  And don’t get me started on humans encroaching on wildlife habitats and the subsequent conflicts that usually leave a species devastated, because then I’ll likely start ranting about the importance of ecosystems.  No, I don’t care that you don’t feel that particular endangered newt is important nor that you can’t see how this newt plays into a much larger story that could impact you.  (Aside: A woman told me recently that the wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres here in Texas was due to an endangered toad people weren’t allowed to destroy.  I thought it had to do with the extreme drought.  Silly me. I stared at her like she was about to start drooling at any minute and two extra heads were going to burst forth from her body.)

In the range of what I think falls under cruelty is animal testing especially on large mammals.  (Please, test all the venomous snakes you want.  I am 100% ok with that).  I had heard from Sam’s physical therapist that beagles (of which Sam is one) were frequently used for experimentation.  The gist of the conversation was how I should be glad they could fix Sam’s knees because there were people out there crippling healthy beagles in order to learn how to make mine right again.  Great! Bust out the party balloons.  You maimed an animal for Sam.  Needless to say I was appalled and by the time I got home, I was in the throes of a serious rant. I just don’t believe that they couldn’t find a reasonable amount of animals who had injured themselves to practice their surgical techniques on and thus were forced into slashing the ACL tendons of healthy beagles.  Of course, I may live in a world of moonbeam slides and fairy clouds.  If so, then I’m very happy here.

That being said, the article I was sent deals with a rescue group called the Beagle Freedom Project.  This organization helps to place beagles who have never known a world outside of a crate into a home with a family so that those dogs can live the rest of their days as dogs.  Here’s a video of one of their recent rescues:

I’m also fond of Austin Pets Alive! whose mission is to eliminate the killing of companion animals.  Then there’s also Hound Rescue who took great care of Sam before we knew her.

While these organizations are particularly close to my heart there are many more out there (some aren’t even animal related).  So, if you’re trying to think of a way to give back to the community while you’re out doing your holiday shopping, please remember your local charities.  Whether it’s with the gift of a monetary donation or through volunteering your time, you’ll be helping that group achieve its mission.  Plus, you’ll walk away with that warm fuzzy feeling that you’ve helped give a little back.

And if you do help a beagle, Sam will wag a little extra this holiday season.