What is the Sequoia project?
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Our family has had many different pets over the years. Dogs, cats, frogs, lizards, turtles, and even a snake once. CC (our 7-year old grandchild) has always had a compassionate heart to all of them. When we learned about a shelter in the area that was ran by just volunteers she couldn’t wait to get involved. This was an excellent opportunity for her to learn and care for many different animals. What made this shelter different than most is their policy to never have any of the animals put to sleep. The animals they tended to would live at the center until they were adopted. If it took a week or a year for them to find a home it didn’t matter.
When CC learned that many of the animals were there, because they had no home, it really bothered her. She couldn’t understand how that could be. When she asked if there were lots of other animals without a home we told her unfortunately yes. She knew I like to build things out of wood so asked if I could build homes for animals that couldn’t find the center. It made perfect sense to her.
So that’s what we did. About 3 weeks later (and $400 lighter) we had two large dog houses. She took part in just about every stage of building them. She helped sand, paint, and hammer on both. It was a project that she felt good about. When we were done she made a small sign and we put them in our front yard to sell (the money would then be donated to the shelter to help).
CC learned that it took a lot of work and dedication, from volunteers, in caring for the animals. It was a lot more work than she first expected. The mop used to clean the brushing rooms stood 3 feet taller than her. She didn’t mind. She learned how important it was to keep clean cages and fresh water for all of them. Her favorites were the cats. The dogs scared her but she didn’t shy away from doing what she could to help them either. We were proud to see such a caring side to her.
These two dog houses sat in our yard for a good month. When the economy went south nobody was buying any extra’s. It came at a time when many families were doing everything they could to keep their own homes. We decided to then donate them to the center for a fundraiser they were putting on. These actions helped out in two separate ways. One being shelter for two different family pets, and the other cash for the center to use at a time when there is not much around.
We wanted to show CC that her volunteer work at the center really was nice to do. When she outgrew her bicycle we decided to get her a new one. On the day we had planned to go down an work at the center we asked her if she first wanted to go get a new bike. It was on the way and we could quickly stop. Her response was that we could always get a bike but the animals needed to be tended to first. At a time when many children are written off as lazy and uncaring about the world they live in this made us smile. Children learn from what adults take the time to teach them. In turn they often teach us the things in life that really matter the most. A very rewarding experience.