Philanthropy Friday (rewind): Fostering Shelter Dogs

The following article is a guest post from my good friend and granola extraordinaire, Ilene Evans. It was originally published on May 3, 2013. Her recent post about helping your neighbor, even if it’s not the easy thing, inspired me to share her past words today. 

We stood on the grass as the van made its way over the gravel driveway. As it came to a stop, E. emerged with a brown cocker spaniel in her arms.

“This one’s yours!” she said as she handed the dog to me. “Isn’t he a beauty?”

Could Brock be any cuter?

Could Brock be any cuter?

The kids gathered around me as we said hello to our first foster dog Brock.

That was a year ago.

We’ve fostered fourteen dogs since.

For those of you unfamiliar with the role of dog foster parents, we are the bridge between the shelter and the permanent home for a dog, most of them narrowly escaping being euthanized at high kill facilities. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“ASPCA”), approximately 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters annually. This number translates to 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats entering shelters are “put down,” and never have the chance to find a home or return to the home they strayed from.

Animal rescue organizations around the country work with extensive networks of shelter workers, rescue drivers and rescue pilots to release dogs from shelters and transport them to families who are willing to care for them until they find permanent homes.

In my house, rescuing dogs is a family affair. Not only are my three children involved with the care of our foster dogs, they are also acutely aware that every time we take a dog, we are saving a life. Is it difficult to say goodbye to the dogs when they find their permanent homes? Absolutely. It’s not unusual for there to be tears on adoption day. We love these dogs. As a foster family, that’s part of our job.


I’ve had many people ask me questions such as these.

“Won’t the kids be sad when the dog is adopted?”

Of course the kids will be sad.

Some people have gone as far as to say this:

“How can you let your kids get attached to these dogs only to have them leave you?”

When we love something, we tend to want it to stay around forever, but nothing is forever. That’s not how life works. We will all have many goodbyes in our lifetime, and the farewell to our foster dogs is bittersweet. It’s that good kind of hurt, of knowing that our dog is moving on to an owner who will love that dog the way we did, creating room in our home to save yet another life.

With every goodbye, comes another hello.

With every goodbye, we give another shelter dog a second chance.

For more information on becoming a foster parent to shelter dogs, contact your local ASPCA



Ilene Evans is a single mom, entrepreneur and owner of Hippie Chick Granola Co, a small batch granola co. that serves up delicious, fun, surprising flavors.

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.

Philanthropy Friday: Global Impact Summit

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.


The Global Impact Summit, an online event happening November 10 – 28 on your computer (if you so choose), includes 30 thought leaders in 15 Inspiring days. It is “all about Purpose, Strategy & Action and how you can create a profound difference in the world with your business through the IMPACT of giving.”

When I received an email from my friend Paul Dunn of B1G1, I had to share this event. Not only does it sound incredibly insightful for entrepreneurs and change makers, the Global Impact Summit is free with a donation of as little as $5. True to the B1G1 giving model, you can select a giving project that you’d like to support when you attend the summit. As you can see in the screenshot below, I chose to give a child access to life-saving water for 5 years. With just $10!

globalimpactsummitFrom the Global Impact Summit website:

We believe that businesses have the power to change our world.

All of the speakers at this Summit are here to empower you and the businesses you’re a part of to create greater results and at the same time give back to create the real change we want to see.

So we ask you to implement the learning into your daily business practice so that you inspire others to create a positive impact too.

The line up of speakers sounds pretty great too. You can find each of the leaders featured on the the B1G1 Facebook page.

Find out more about the summit, take a look at the schedule, and register.

Will you join me at the Global Impact Summit?

Philanthropy Friday (rewind): Celebrating 100 School Days with Kindness

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

The 100th day of school is right around the corner (assuming the polar vortex doesn’t mess with your school schedule too much). While this post from 2012 is particularly popular right now, I wanted to share a Philanthropy Friday post from last year about how my son’s elementary school is celebrating with 400 acts of kindness. I just got the notice that they are doing the same thing this year. This year, G gets to donate to the organization where we’ve been volunteering.

The school does a lot to get the kids involved with giving back and helping others. I share this post with the hope that it will inspire others to initiate similar projects in their schools. You can never start incorporating philanthropy into a child’s life too early.

The following post was originally published on FEBRUARY 1, 2013.


G’s 100 stickers project from kindergarten

If you have children in school, you are probably aware of the celebrations and projects that pop up around this time of year to commemorate the 100th day of school.

I still don’t quite get why the 100th day is such a big deal, but it seems like most elementary schools around the country do something. I know this from my Facebook newsfeed and the fact that my 100 School Days Project Ideas post from last year is the most popular on the blog right now.

In the past, G has had to collect 100 items and put them on a poster board and in a bag. This year, there’s a philanthropic twist to his 100th day of school, because they are celebrating the 100th day of school with 400 acts of kindness.

This year, G’s school is challenging its 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders to come up with at least 100 donations for a specific local nonprofit. G and his fellow second graders were assigned the Coastal Humane Society, where we adopted Kona 11 years ago. The third graders are collecting items for the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program. The fourth graders have Tedford Housing, and the fifth graders are taking care of the Brunswick Teen Center.

The school sent home a flyer describing their goal of collecting 100 items from each class for the designated nonprofits.They have students working on charts to keep track of their donations and show how close they are to their goal. The flyer also listed the items each nonprofit was most in need of to make shopping easy.

G had fun picking out dog toys and treats to bring in to school. In fact, he bugged us from the moment he brought the flyer home about making the trip to the pet store. He was the same way when the school was rallying together to collect food items during the holiday season.

Considering some of the kids at school might benefit directly from these donations, I think it’s a wonderful twist on the usual 100 school days projects. It gets kids giving early and excited to do so.

Is your child participating in a 100 schools days project? Is there a way to incorporate giving into it?

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