Heartfelt letter illustrates the generosity of healthcare foundation, animal shelter


WNLP editor’s note: Little to explain here other than the heartfelt gratitude of a recipient of free pet food from the La Porte County Small Animal Shelter, thanks to the generosity of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. (If you need such help, call the shelter at 326-1637.) Read on and smile, or shed a tear, or both:

From La Porte County Small Animal Shelter Director Jane Bernard to the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte:

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to reach out and again share our gratitude as a recipient of the COVID -19 Emergency Grant to purchase pet food back in April. Who would have thought we would continue to be faced with this pandemic, face masks and so many people continuing to struggle as we look to the New Year? 

This grant allowed us to help many people who were faced with tough decisions to feed their pets, or sadly, find new homes. I have attached an email we received shortly after helping a gal in need. It is a bit lengthy but so worth the read. Wishing you all the very best this holiday season and here’s to a bright start for the New Year.       

From an anonymous recipient of free pet food from the shelter and the foundation:

I couldnt stop the tears no matter how hard I tried. Please believe me, I tried. I had to pull over twice on the way home because crying this hard wasnt allowing me safe driving. These tears were different than the tears of sadness I‘ve cried recently, so I truly didnt mind.

For the last 6 weeks, I have been without a job to pay my bills. It has been a disheartening life experience that has broken me down more every day, and significant delays in receiving my unemployment havent helped. Due to the pandemic, jobs in my field of work have been scarce, as more employers are opting for employees to work from home or laying off their staff entirely, leading to fewer job openings compounded by more people applying for them.

It was a very dark day when I came to your shelter. Emergency funds were nearly depleted, bills were coming due again, job prospects were few despite endless applications. I lost my wallet. It contained all of my bank cards and the remainder of my cash. Hopeless had a brand new meaning.

Friday morning, July 31, I searched for pet food banks in our area for assistance with food for my brother-and-sister pair of pit bulls, Aleister and Audrina. I came upon a link for the Friends of La Porte County Shelters and their email address. Within 10 minutes of sending my email, a beautiful soul by the name of Jami came to my rescue. She let me know where I could obtain food and offered further assistance if those suggestions didnt work out. Ill never forget her name because it gave the first glimmer of hope I’d seen in weeks. 

I called your shelter and spoke with a kind gentleman whose name I didnt catch. He told me that bags of food were being set out in front of the building as we spoke, and I was welcome to come down and pick up what I needed.

Saying I was amazed by the offering of food you provided to those in need doesnt do it justice. There is no earthly description for the emotion that overtook my beatdown soul when I saw the generosity on those tables. I forgot all about that dark, sad day I was having.

Im sure many people like me visit your facility each day who, for a myriad of reasons, cry happy or sad tears. Id like to think of myself as a tough cookie until animals. This has been an ongoing issue since my mom forbade 5-year-old me from watching “Lassie” because my bawling about Lassie possibly not coming home every single night got old, really fast.. I’ll be 40 next year and I cry at movies like “Homeward Bound” and my forever favorite, “All Dogs Go To Heaven.” Go ahead and laugh a little; you know you want to! It’s okay

Ill admit I was crying at this time. I wasnt sure if I was crying about the outpouring of generosity or the bags of dog food themselves. That was a touch worrisome. A very nice gentleman greeted me at the table, quite possibly the friendly soul I spoke to on the phone, welcomed me and asked about the pets I have at home who needed food. He was a gem of a man with a knack for patience and composure that made it seem as if people crying over dog food for absolutely no reason was something he did every day. He told me to wait just a moment and went into the shelter. While I waited, I spoke to a sweet lady who was setting out more food. I thanked her for providing food to people and their pets in need and told her how much their assistance and love for animals meant to med. I told her that when I got back on my feet, I would return the goodness shown to me that day. Her response was a profound statement of her character, and its effect on my heart made me want to try harder every day to be a better person:

Just pray for us.” 

I wish I wasnt crying even harder after hearing that, because I would have told her that for many years, every time I pass the shelter on my daily journey, I say a prayer for all the angels inside the shelter. The kindness bestowed on me this day had already been repaid a thousandfold over the course of many years, yet will continue all the rest of my days.

The gentleman came outside with a huge bag of dog food the size of his heart and told me to call the shelter any time I needed food in the future. I have never been so humbled before, and certainly so blessed.

I doubt anyone will remember the girl who ugly-cried over a bag of dog food at your shelter that day. What I will remember is the grace, love and generosity shown to me by the people I met that day. They were a glowing example of excellence in customer service, but what I will always carry in my heart is how I was blown away by their genuine goodness as human beings. The world needs more people just like them. Wouldnt that be a wonderful world to live in

I will never forget my experience at the shelter until the day I leave this earth. You gave me dog food, and yet you filled me with hope. I was shown love and kindness that fed my soul as well as my dogs. A bag of dog food and two beautiful souls changed my life and my perspective forever. Amazing.

After I got home from the shelter, I received a phone call whose purpose was to set up a time for an interview, but it turned out to be an actual interview instead. I hung up the phone with a sense of peace. An hour later, an email containing a job offer for an amazing position hit my inbox. I start my new job next week, and it is all because of you. Had I not come to your shelter that day, had I not been overwhelmed with the goodness of genuine hearts, blessed by your kindness and radiating positivity, the interviewer would not have been otherwise compelled to speak with me any more than she had the candidates that she called before me.

Without a doubt in my mind, my life changed for the better because of you. I believe that the good people of the earth put positive energy out into the universe that infinitely passes from person to person until the end of time. Sometimes, those energies have a profound, positive effect on a persons life when it is desperately needed. You will never know how much I needed that positivity I received. My heart and soul were blessed by a kindness I thought didnt exist anymore, so thank you for reminding me that not only can I find it in my fellow humans, Im obligated to pass it on to them as well. When I needed it most, hope returned to my heart in the form of two angels and a bag of dog food.

With eternal gratefulness, 

Amber, Aleister and Audrina

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