What do you think of, when considering the word "gift"? Perhaps a shiny, wrapped box with a neatly tied bow on top? Merriam-Webster defines the word gift as "something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation". Not a very shiny definition, but you can't argue with Webster.
In a non-profit organization, such as the SPCA Albrecht Center, a gift can be many things, and the word "gift" in financial terms, is often applied to any transaction coming from a person or business to our organization.
With the gifting season now fully underway and today being "Giving Tuesday" - a global day of giving after the "getting" days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday - I hope you will consider a gift for the animals when making your list. Here are some ideas:
Adopt. What's better than a purring kitty under your tree or a playful pup begging for holiday ham? Meet our adoptable pets in person at 199 Willow Run Rd, Aiken SC, or see photos online at LetLoveLive.org/adopt. Every pet adopted opens space for another to be rescued and have their own chance at adoption.
Shop. We operate two Thrift Shops in Aiken and each store is full of gently used or like-new items at 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 LetLoveLive.org/thriftshops for locations and hours. Donations of items that we can resell in these shops are also appreciated and if you have a large donation, we'll pick it up for free! Just call 803-648-6863 to schedule a pickup.
Visit the vet. Bring your pet(s) to our Veterinary Care Center for spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchips, nail trims, physical exams, flea/tick and heartworm prevention and more. Visit spcavetcare.org for hours, a list of services and prices and our online pharmacy or call 803-648-6863, ext. 1 to schedule your pet's spay or neuter surgery (prices start at just $40!). Walk-in hours are Tuesday - Friday, 1:00pm - 4:00pm and Saturdays 9:00am - 3:00pm.
Volunteer. A gift of your time and talent can be very valuable to our organization. Sign up to walk or train dogs, cuddle with cats, clean and feed, help with office work, event preparation or lend a hand in our thrift shops. Learn more and sign up at LetLoveLive.org/volunteer.
Donate. Saving animals is highly rewarding but also very expensive. You can help with a monetary gift, and if you like, you can donate in honor or memory of a beloved person or pet. Visit us in person, donate over the phone, online or mail a check. Done with your old car? You can donate it, too! Pickup is free and you could get a tax deduction. Click here to start the process.
Today, November 28th, only, in celebration of Giving Tuesday, if you donate to us on our Facebook page, your gift will be matched by Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and processing fees will be waived. Check out our Facebook page for more information!
Prefer to stick with tradition and place a present under the tree? We have several beautifully decorated trees in our lobby just waiting to have some gifts placed underneath! We maintain a couple of wish lists on Amazon.com, just do a registry/wish list search for SPCA Albrecht Center.
Gifts can be shipped directly to us or you can ship them home and place them under our tree yourself. You can be sure each gift will bring a smile to a pet in our care or to a person working for those pets.
Visit LetLoveLive.org to see all the ways you can help.
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.
Enjoy all the gifts the holiday season brings, whether they are given or received, and don't forget to tell Santa that the pets at the SPCA Albrecht Center have been extra good this year.
Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah's family includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA.