Time to reflect
The new year is a reflective time for those of us who volunteer at the Central Aroostook Humane Society. We look back on the past year and realize that without the support of the 28 towns we contract with, the businesses and individuals that support our fundraisers, the many volunteers who show up at our doors to spend time helping the animals, the board of directors and our amazing employees, we just couldn’t continue to exist.
It goes without saying that 2020 has probably been the most difficult and challenging year that we can ever remember. Having to make the decision to close our doors back in March was a very hard one to make. We were worried about the effect that being closed would have on our adoptions. With so many people affected by shutdowns, loss of work, cutting back and just the loss of a normal, everyday life, we were truly concerned about the impact that this would have on the shelter animals.
But true to the Aroostook County spirit, people continued to support the shelter and made appointments to come by to volunteer, and the adoption rates stayed right on track, which still continues to amaze us. Even without the opportunity to put on even one of our annual fundraisers, our supporters continued to give. Monetary donations and important supplies have been donated throughout this difficult year, and this is such a true blessing.
Many times throughout the year we have super generous kids who decide that they would rather have shelter donations brought to their birthday parties instead of gifts for themselves. This is an amazing example of giving back instead of receiving. The children happily arrive loaded with gifts for all the animals — varieties of pet food, kitty litter, treats, paper towels and cleaning supplies. Others set up lemonade stands, have church raffles or collect bottles to help raise money for the animals. These are the stories that fill our hearts.
Our board of directors is all volunteers. On a normal year they work very hard putting on a variety of fundraisers which collect much-needed funds, but also provide an awareness of what it takes to keep the shelter doors open.
It also goes without saying that at times we are overwhelmed with the generosity of businesses, individuals and especially the young who embrace what we do here at the shelter. We have to believe that teaching the youth to be kind, caring and compassionate individuals will help them to continue those valuable lessons in their adult life.
We truly appreciate and thank all the staff at the Star-Herald office in Presque Isle for providing us this space every week to keep you all up to date with what is happening at the shelter, and also to provide tips on helping to keep your four-legged family members in tip-top shape.
From all of us at the Central Aroostook Humane Society, we wish you a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2021.
Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.