As the holidays creep up on us, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of giving. Living in a large city like Chicago, every day you are surrounded by people from different walks of life- including those who may be less fortunate than you. Additionally, one glimpse at the news is often enough to see that there is a lot of bad in the world. This gets me thinking, what about the good?
As the new academic quarter began, my roommates and I decided we wanted to do some good. We were quick to find that there are so many Chicago charities and ways to get involved. We decided upon something a little furrier. We chose to begin volunteering with PAWS Chicago.
PAWS is an animal rescue foundation built on a no-kill principle. In 1997, the founders noticed that there was a rising stray problem in Chicago affecting not only animals, but people, too. In order to combat this problem, the city was simply sending animal control out to capture and then euthanize many of the animals- especially those who were not easily adopted. When PAWS was founded, they pledged to focus on two methods to combat this problem: create a no-kill, adoption-friendly city and increase the spay and neuter rate to stop the problem at its source.
Today, the animals killed in Chicago have dropped from 42,571 in 1997 to 8,662 in 2015. Furthermore, the amount of strays has drastically dropped due to an increase in affordable access to animal healthcare. This has helped to create a safer, cleaner environment in Chicago.
My roommates and I have just begun working with this group, but we’ve already seen how passionate its members are. We get to help out with events and with the animals directly. I encourage you to take a little time to get involved with something you’re passionate about. You can spread some good this holiday season, and the rest of the year!