JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It's been a tough year.
With the pandemic, many lost their jobs and the extra money to donate to non-profits like the Jacksonville Humane Society.
On top of that, with the canceling of social gatherings and events, many of the big fundraisers for nonprofits also had to be canceled as well.
So Giving Tuesday is more important this year than ever before for nonprofits to continue serving the Jacksonville community.
The Jacksonville Humane Society had big plans for 2020, but all of those came to a crashing halt in March when coronavirus struck. They, like many other animal shelters, had to stop in-person visits and strictly limit volunteers and staff. So they needed to get the animals in temporary foster homes.
"We enacted a similar plan as we would a hurricane, the only difference was we said, 'we're not sure how long this is going to last!'," tells Lindsay Layendecker with the Jacksonville Humane Society.
Terri Florio and her son decided to take in a senior dog named, Whitney.
"We initially took her in as a foster and after day one, Cameron, my little boy said ‘she’s staying’," tells Florio.
So Whitney happily joined the Florio family. Terri says there is so much more to Jax Humane than just adoptions.
"I think that is the well-kept secret of some of the things they are doing. Everybody knows they are for the dogs and the cats, but they also provide an opportunity for kids and volunteers to help out there," tells Florio.
Like the kids’ camps that are held in the summer and over spring break and the Pawsitive Reading Program, in which children read to shelter dogs.
The medical fund in particular has been stretched this year with JHS taking in injured animals from other shelters that closed when the pandemic began.
Plus, they have seen a surge in demand for their pet food bank.
"In 2019 we used to average around 40 to 50 pets a week we would help at our food bank and currently we are averaging around 100 pets a week," explains Layendecker.
So it has been a tough year, but it is the generosity from the community that is helping them save lives and bring some four-legged joy to families!
You can donate to the Jacksonville Humane Society on their website at JaxHumane.org/donate