Like most cats, I'm not a fan of change. Change is unpredictable, disruptive, and unknown. I prefer the comfort and safety of consistency, stability, and predictability. But without change, there is no growth, and without growth, nothing improves.
"Change is the only constant in life." A Greek philosopher by the name of Heraclitus figured that out centuries ago, so knowing and expecting change is nothing new. And despite my own personal views, change can be, and often is, a positive step forward.
Our organization has faced several changes since being established in 1935. There have been location and facility changes, from Banks Mill Road to Wire Road to Willow Run Road. A name change, from Aiken SPCA to SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. Policy changes, program additions, expanded services, new board members, new staff members and lots of new volunteers. Not to mention all of the animals we've seen come and go; that change happens weekly, sometimes daily.
Every change we've encountered and worked through has made our organization and our team stronger, by teaching us what works well, what clearly doesn't, and offering opportunities to improve. And the more we learn and grow, the more of a positive impact we can make on animals in our community and the people who love them.
One thing that hasn't changed is our dedication to animals and our commitment to protect them. Every person who is part of our organization or who supports our mission, believes in our vision: "a world in which every animal has a safe and loving home, access to quality veterinary care, and where the unfailing love and devotion of a companion animal is valued by all." That is most definitely a constant that will not change.
What do you envision for the future of animal welfare? What change would you most like to see happen, either immediately or years from now? The SPCA Albrecht Center really would like to know. Soon, we'll begin sending out a series of surveys by email to people who are connected with our organization. Adopters, volunteers, donors and clients who have opted to receive our communications will have the chance to tell us what they think of our organization, our services, our progress, and voice their ideas for change.
If you'd like to be participate, but aren't sure if you're on our email list, email me at Sarah@LetLoveLive.org and I'll be sure to add you.
Until then, get to know us, if you don't already. See for yourself how hard we work to ensure the continued care and love for animals who need us. Ask any of our staff about our own pets or the animals we know here. Our passion for what we do is hard to miss. It's the reason we're here, and it's the reason we'll continue to be here, though all the changes to come.
Are you looking for a positive change in your own life? Consider adopting a pet. You'll change their whole word for the better, and yours right along with it.
Sarah Neikam is the Director of Organizational Development 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.