In the midst of trouble, if you look hard enough, you can see it.
It’s there in the people who keep going despite the risks. The grocery store clerks, the cleaning crews, the restaurant employees, and the selfless medical staff and emergency responders.
Many accept the hazards that come with the coronavirus so they can continue being of service to others. I see it here, too, in the few remaining SNKC staff who are helping continue what little support we can provide to the community.
It goes to the heart of what this organization is about. And what the people who work here have committed themselves to.
As I prepare to take my leave with most of the other staff (a small nonprofit only has so many resources, you know), they’ll stay to make sure puppy and kitten boosters continue so those little ones can build immunity against disease. After all, to stop in the middle of a young pets’ booster rounds could leave them vulnerable, especially to parvo, which is highly contagious and very nasty (we don’t need more than one viral surge going on at a time, thank you).
They’ll also be handling a small number of walk-in clients who haven’t heard we’re closed or who have urgent needs, including those struggling to buy pet food. Regardless of why someone shows up, our efforts are geared toward protecting everyone while providing a base level of support. For now that means people who do show up are asked to remain in their cars. We greet them outside in protective gear, taking their pets inside while they wait. This helps limit everyone’s exposure.
That’s how it always works, right? In the middle of a crisis, there are always people who stand their ground and commit to doing what they can for those around them. I know for certain that I am surrounded by those kinds of people.
This pandemic is unlike anything I’ve ever lived through and, if I’m honest, at my age I’ve lived through quite a lot. I’d be lying, too, if I said I wasn’t concerned. For the health of my family, my community and the broader economic impact that we’ll be facing. My concern for SNKC is also at the front of my mind. A small nonprofit in a very specialized segment of the market can be pretty vulnerable.
Still, here we are smack dab in the midst of something that we can’t control and don’t understand. And yet there are so many people stepping up – including right here at SNKC. They care and are doing what they can to make it better for all of us.
Despite the risks.
That’s why I have to believe we can rest on hope. Anytime something of this magnitude happens, the compassion of human beings rises to the occasion. I saw it years ago when I went to Joplin after that horrific storm. What I encountered was so emotionally raw and devastating that it defied description. Yet people came from all over to help in every way possible. Even those who’d lost everything were trying to lift others in the community up. I’m seeing the same thing here. Not just here in Kansas City, but all over.
As far as SNKC goes, at the end of the day, I’ve got to believe that an organization that impacts the lives of over 25,000 pets each year will rise from this with more experience and knowledge about how to handle a crisis, even one as weird as this one. We’ll do so with the help of an amazing, selfless staff and the support of a community that has always stood behind us and made sure we could keep going through the toughest of times.
Like the staff who are staying at SNKC to provide whatever help they can, our community – clients, donors and volunteers – understand something fundamentally good and true that will ultimately make the biggest difference of all.
That we’re all in this together.