The world of finance eludes me.
Numbers and equations hang out in my anxiety closet and taunt me monthly when my bank statement arrives. How can I work on a column of numbers three times and come up with three different answers? How do a small handful of $20 and $30 purchases suddenly add up to $700 on the ol' credit card bill?
I manage, of course, but I'm all the more amazed how an organization like the Lawrence Humane Society keeps its finances in order. A little money in, a boatload of money out, and each year, in the care of our staff members, are roughly 6,000 animals, all yapping and crying, all needing food and water, spilling their pans and needing to be bathed and talked to and loved. How does the Humane Society manage?
As with any public service of its kind, the Humane Society relies on donations and volunteer efforts. We couldn't continue to serve the public without that help. Wonderful volunteers like Johanna, who comes to walk dogs almost daily, and Homer, who takes all our photographs without charging us - these folks keep the Humane Society running.
We rely on money, goods and services, and we take none of it for granted. We depend on the pet supply businesses who send over bags of food and cat litter, because when we're running low, we have to purchase it by the pallet-full - and we average 150 pounds of cat and kitten food and 300 to 350 pounds of dog and puppy food a day.
We're so grateful to the folks who think of us when they're shopping and drop off pet food or bleach or paper towels. Laundry soap and used clothes washers and dryers keep us in business: We go through two washers and dryers a month because we do roughly 60 loads of laundry a day. And what would we do without those school groups working so diligently to collect "Pennies for Puppies" and endless trash bags of aluminum cans to benefit our spay/neuter program?
What: Lawrence Humane Society's Pawsible Dream Benefit Auction When: 6 p.m. Friday Where: Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Drive Tickets: $25 each or $40 for a pair, call 843-6835 for more information.
And still the need grows.
Like any organization, we have our share of times when the board discusses how we'll meet the payroll when there's more month left than money. Right now, in fact, is always our most difficult time, trying to get through until the end of the year. This is when real-life superheroes are needed.
Want to be one?
On Friday, we have a fantastic opportunity for you to help the Lawrence Humane Society in the greatest way possible. We invite you to attend our 11th annual Pawsible Dream Auction - our single greatest fundraising event, which provides the financial resources to take us through the end of the calendar year.
When the doors at the Lawrence Holidome open at 6 p.m., you'll be ushered into a pet lover's paradise. The decorations and some of the door prizes are animal-themed, of course, and we'll be ready and waiting to treat you to a wonderful evening of buffet-style snacks, beverages and entertainment. The fun starts right away as you check out the tables of silent auction items and begin spirited bidding on your favorite treasures.
At 7:30, we'll direct your attention to the center stage, where our live auction will take place. We've gathered an array of gifts, travel packages, meal certificates, arts, crafts and sports tickets. You can bid on health care and beauty packages, pet products and services, holidays baskets, furniture, home care accessories - just about anything available in Lawrence and beyond, and all supplied by generous business owners and folks like you.
And speaking of these businesses, we encourage you to patronize the establishments and store owners who help us out. You'll know them by the window stickers they display at their stores, announcing "We proudly support the Lawrence Humane Society Pawsible Dream Auction."
If you've ever wanted to make a difference for your community, this is a great way to get started. Tickets are $25 each or $40 for two, available at the Humane Society Shelter, 1805 E. 19th St., or at the door. We hope to see you Friday.
- Sue Novak is president of the Lawrence Humane Society board.