This I Believe

Creighton - Columbia, South Carolina
Entered on November 24, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that everyone has the potential to discover a cause to become passionate about, and I am lucky to have found mine. There are so many ways to make the world a better place, but, for me, it’s helping animals. Part of my love for animals lies in the fact that they depend on us for love and care. I think Will Rogers expressed it well when he said that veterinarians were the best doctors because their patients couldn’t tell them what was wrong – the vets just had to know. Animals also love us unconditionally – they are always there for us and make our days brighter and lives richer.

I have always loved animals – ever since I was a little girl. My first word was “Booey,” a mispronunciation of my cat’s name, Booty. So I guess I was an animal lover from the very start.

When I was 10, I found a birthday present in my closet that was still unopened after a year. I decided right then that my birthday parties would become benefits for animals because they needed the gifts more than me. For the past three years, I have hosted benefit birthday parties for the homeless animals at our city shelter and collected money for spay/neuter vouchers as well as supplies to improve the quality of life for the shelter pets. I’ve also held other fundraisers during the year and built a website to promote animal care and spay/neuter programs and encourage others to help animals in their own communities. I know I can’t adopt all of the stray animals in my community, but I try to help the best I can.

I have received so many calls and letters from friends, family members, and even strangers about my work. They inspire me to continue to help the homeless animals in my community. I don’t think you have to be older, or smarter. You just have to care. I may not be able to help them all, but each day, I am inspired that I can do something.

If I could give any advice to other people, I would tell them that the best thing they could do for themselves is to do something for others in need. It doesn’t matter what you do – whether it is helping people or animals. There is so much need in the world. Doing good things for others will help you understand that life is not about what you get but what you give, and that you CAN make a difference. We can’t individually do it all but, together, we can all make the world a better place. And that’s the point, isn’t it?