Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Biking for Animals, in hindsight

Yesterday was the official end of my Biking for Animals fundraising campaign. For those of you who aren't familiar with this campaign, it was a cross-USA bike tour that I did in 2013 to raise awareness about the estimated four million homeless pets that are killed every year in shelters across the United States, and to raise money and awareness for no-kill animal shelters (ones that don't euthanize because of time and space limitations) as well as other animal rescue organizations. The concept was to do one long bike ride in each of the 48 continental states (except for Alaska). Unfortunately, while my intentions were good, the pressure of organizing and doing everything myself eventually began to affect me physically and psychologically, and I had to end the tour in California, almost a whole month before I had planned to.

So what did I learn from this? I learned that there are a lot of good people out there who devote their whole lives to helping the animals that many of us prefer not to think about. I learned that lack of money is the biggest obstacle to allowing these people to do even more to help these animals (which is why it's so important to donate!). I learned that it's not easy to raise money! (I ended up raising very little, although I did try my best.) Some organizations on my list supported my fundraising efforts, others ignored me completely, but I hold no grudges, as all of them do great work to save the lives of innocent animals. On a personal note, I learned about my own limitations and that while it's important to help as much as we can, we have to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us, - that it's important to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, while we help. I wish everyone a very happy New Year, and hope that my words and my actions will inspire you to help animals this year, in any way you can.

(PHOTO: Me and Michelle at Philly PAWS)