The Gifting Season

What do you think of, when considering the word "gift"? For me, it's usually a shiny, wrapped box with a neatly tied bow on top. Typical, I imagine.

Merriam-Webster defines the word gift as "something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation". Way to take the fun out of it, Webster.

In a non-profit organization, such as the SPCA Albrecht Center, a gift can be many things.

Our administrative team is in the initial stages of implementing a new software program that will enable us to better manage our fundraising efforts and our relationships with clients, donors, volunteers, and anyone who makes contact with our organization.

In this program, any transaction from a person or business to us, is labeled a "gift".

Adoption fees, registration fees, event tickets, clinic services, retail purchases, donations, sponsorships - all gifts. Gifts to the SPCA Albrecht Center and ultimately, gifts to the animals in our care.

With that in mind, and with the current gifting season fully underway, I hope you will consider a gift for the animals when making your holiday lists. Here are some ways you can help:

Adopt. What's better than a purring kitty under your tree or a playful pup begging for holiday ham? Having them in your life year round. Meet our adoptable pets in person at 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken SC, or see photos online at

Shop. We operate three Thrift Shops in Aiken and each store is full of gently used or like-new items with very reasonable prices. Furniture, clothes, books, household items, jewelry and more, you're sure to find something for someone special on your shopping list, even if that someone special is you. Visit for locations and hours.

Visit the vet. Bring your pet(s) to our clinic for needed veterinary services. Spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchips, nail trims, dental cleanings, wellness exams, flea/tick and heartworm prevention and more. Go to for hours and a list of services and prices.

Volunteer. A gift of your time and talents is incredibly valuable to our organization. Sign up to walk or train dogs, cuddle with cats, help with office work, facility maintenance, event preparation or lend a hand in our thrift shops. Learn more and sign up at

Donate. You can contribute to our funding with a one-time gift, a monthly gift, or a donation in honor or memory of a loved one. Visit us in person, mail a check, or pay online. Donations of items that we can use in the shelter are appreciated as well or you can donate items that we can resell in our thrift shops. You can even donate your car, boat or RV! Visit to see all the ways you can make a donation.

Prefer to stick with tradition and place a present under the tree? We have a beautifully decorated tree in our lobby just waiting to have some gifts placed underneath.

Visit our shelter to pull a donation card from the tree that lists an item within your budget. Then bring that item back to be placed under the tree. There are also adoption sponsorship ornaments that can be purchased to cover the adoption fee for a family who wants to open their home to a homeless pet this season.

Finally, consider a gift of your words. Tell your friends and family about the work we're doing and the services that we provide. Follow us on social media and share our posts and photos. Or, give us a call or drop us a line. We'd love to hear about your experience with us and if there's something we can do better, let us know.

I hope you enjoy all the gifts the holiday season brings, whether they are given or received, and don't forget to tell Santa that our animals have been extra good this year.

Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She previously held the role of Volunteer Coordinator and has a background in business administration. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Eddie and Luna.

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The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is a

tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN: 57-0329782

  199 Willow Run Road  Aiken, SC 29801      Shelter: (803) 648-6863    Vet Care: (803) 648-6864

Copyright 2014     SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare      All rights reserved