I don’t know if it is because I am getting older (I hit the big 3-0 this year!), if it is because of the commercial nature of the holiday, or if it is because the celebrating starts in September now and goes on for way too long, but for the last few years, I haven’t really been able to get into the Christmas spirit. Sure, the decorations are pretty and it’s nice to spend time with the family and eat cookies and open presents, but I feel like a lot of people (me included) have lost sight of what the holiday season is really about. So this year I had to make a choice: give up and become a Grinch, or try to find a way to make the holiday more meaningful.
As much as I love the Grinch, I don’t really want to be one myself. So I started looking for a way to give back to my community for the holiday, and to use my author platform for a good cause. I went in search of local charities that I could contribute to, and the one that made the biggest impact on me was My Dog Eats First. This charity does some incredible work, providing the homeless and less fortunate members of the Louisville, Kentucky community with a way to keep and care for their pets even if they don’t have much money. So many people have to give up their dogs because they can’t afford to feed them or keep them healthy because of their own financial situation, but My Dog Eats First strives to make it so that no one has to be separated from their best friend. In their own words:
Our mission is to provide pet food, supplies, basic vaccinations and spay/neuter services for the pets of the homeless and underserved within our community. We provide this support in a judgement free environment for individuals and families in who are committed to the health and wellness of their pets and desire to keep them. In doing so, we believe we are:
- Keeping the homeless united with what in most cases is the only living thing that provides with them with companionship, protection and unconditional love
- Reducing the amount of healthy pets surrendered to shelters because of financial burden
- Saving healthy pets from unnecessary euthanasia by keeping them with their families.
We believe in the love and companionship that companion animals bring to their underserved and homeless owners. Everyone deserves someone that makes them look forward to tomorrow.
As anyone who has ever met me can tell you, my best friends in life have always been my dogs. Just the thought of being separated from them, or of not being able to help them when they needed it, breaks my heart. I don’t want anyone to have to face this terrible situation, so I am going to do my best to help the cause by contributing 50 percent of the proceeds from every copy of Love and Squalor sold from December 15, 2019 to January 31, 2020 to My Dog Eats First.
If you haven’t checked out the rest of the site, Love and Squalor is a novel about the struggles faced by the people in an underserved community and, while fictional, it parallels a lot of the issues faced in some areas of my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, making it a great book to help bring awareness to this issue. Even if it isn’t about dogs, it is about people who want more out of life, but feel as if they can’t get anywhere due to their lack of resources and power. No one should have to feel this way, and no one should have to miss out on the unconditional love of a pet because of monetary reasons.
Whether you prefer ebooks or print books, your purchase matters, and half of the royalties from every sale of Love and Squalor (including money earned from affiliate links) will go to this important program. I will be posting updates as they come in, as well as the grand total donated at the end of January. In the meantime, every share of this post or of my posts about it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will help to increase its visibility and the number of people who can see it and donate.
I would really appreciate your help and support in this cause, and I hope that it will help all of us feel the true spirit of the season.
And if you aren’t into books but still want to help make a brighter new year for Louisville’s dogs and their owners, you can donate directly at http://www.mydogeatsfirst.org/donate/.
Merry Christmas, everyone, and have a very happy and healthy and fulfilling New Year! :)