I don't do consumerism very well. Clearly, since one of my favorite blogs is The Non Consumer Advocate. I am working on trying to remember that not everyone shares my beliefs, but it is difficult, sometimes, to watch friends go to concerts regularly, or other friends outfitting their house using more money than we have in savings, or still others who can go clothes shopping whenever they want without feeling like that money would be better spent going towards groceries, savings or credit card debt. I'm working on it, though.
Usually I find myself almost disgusted with the way people throw money around. Disgusted, disturbed and, sometimes, wondering about the state of their savings account (who am I? Try not to judge me, clearly I'm crazy). However, there was one night this past weekend, where I put all of that aside and encouraged people do spend more, more MORE!
Purrfect Pals, the cat shelter I volunteer with, and whom we adopted our wonderful Clarabelle from, held their annual Black Cat Ball on Saturday night. I've been working with Purrfect Pals for just over a year and a half now, but this is the first Black Cat Ball that I've attended or, should I say, volunteered at, because I'm not ready to be in that crowd during the auction yet!
Because yes, there was a live (and silent) auction. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. There were so many things donated, from bottles of wine with the Black Cat Ball label, to vacations all around the country (and in one case, the world!) There was alcohol, bid cards flying, yelling, cheering, clapping...it was wonderful. One man paid $2,000 to put his cat's face on the cover of the 2012 Purrfect Pals calendar.
Halfway through the night they stopped and did what is called the Friend in Need. This is where the shelter is simply asking for money (starting at $5,000, working down to $25. Anyone who wants to donate at any of those levels raised their bid card). They played a slide show of our wonderful cats and kittens and the vet working on them, along with a song. It was a little along the lines of that ASPCA commercial. (Don't click unless you want to cry!)
I wasn't the only one who teared up! Anyway, after all the bids were collected, they totaled up the Friend in Need donations: $38,000 were donated in that part of the auction alone.
I know there are so many charities out there, believe me, I do. Many of them get lost in the shuffle of the big ones, but they all deserve to be supported. Every single charity out there has suffered due to the recession, and though I can't speak for every other charity, I know that Purrfect Pals, despite facing budget cuts and a far lower income than expected, continues to give their cats the very same level of care they deserve, and which they've always had.
I wanted to remember this night, but I also wanted to remind you that Purrfect Pals, along with many many other charities are still out there. And, if you're so inclined, set aside your clothes shopping, or your saving (though please don't spend money you don't have!!) and think about helping out a kitty shelter that could really use it this year. Here is a link to their Amazon.com wish list. If all you do is donate a $7 cat bed, then you've made someone's day.
Remember the $38,000 that was raised? Most of it was donated at the $25 and $50 levels. It adds up, and it's so wonderful to see people uniting for a good cause, spending money, but selflessly, rather than selfishly.