Irene opened the shelter door to a man wearing a face mask. He was in his mid-40s and looked hot, as if he walked here on foot. A shower cap was hugging his black, curly hair. The man, Mr. Bailey, had heard about our Pet Food Bank and he came to pick up some kibble and flea preventative for his cat.
It’s March 18 – two weeks since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Texas brought life-as-we-know-it to a halt. Our free Pet Food Bank has been active for 12 years (to the tune of 70 tons distributed), but we have never seen this much foot traffic before. People of all different backgrounds and ages are coming in—all day—thankful to get food for their pets. It’s one less thing to worry about.
Mr. Bailey clutched the bag of cat food, stuffed the flea preventative into his pocket and was about to leave when he hesitated. He saw that our volunteers were wearing rubber gloves. “Is there any way I could get a pair of those?” Our staffer pulled a pair out of the box and handed them to him. He immediately put them on and left the shelter wearing an expression of relief.
A couple of hours went by and we saw him again at the front door.
Between two gloved fingers he was holding a $10 bill. Excitedly, he told us why he was back. “I was walking back to my place. I was by a gas station when a lady waved at me. She saw me wearing the gloves and asked me if I could pump gas for her. So I said sure. I pumped her gas and she gave me $10. Here’s the $10 – I brought it to you for helping my kitty.”
There we stood, and watched this man who had no transportation except his own two feet, a man who walked a long distance to pick up food for his beloved cat, a man who clearly didn’t have money to spare – slide a $10 bill into the acrylic donation box in our lobby.
Turns out, not all heroes wear capes. Some wear a face mask, a shower cap and a pair of blue gloves.
Like Mr. Bailey, many of our neighbors need help with their animals. We are increasing our free pet services to help people care for their pets during this crisis.
DRIVE-THRU PET CLINIC + FOOD BANK
Sunday, March 22 • 10am – 2pm
Friends For Life Animal Shelter Parking Lot
107 East 22nd Street, Houston, Texas 77008
Vaccinations • Flea/Heartworm Preventative • Pet Food
Drive up, stay in your car (to keep social distance), hand over your pet in a carrier, and let our vet treat your animal in a mobile adoption vehicle parked outside. We don’t income qualify, but please bring an ID for our records.
Need food? Let us know and we’ll bring it to your car from our Pet Food Bank.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- To keep our Pet Food Bank stocked, drop off food at 107 E 22nd Street (M-F // 12 noon – 5 pm daily).
- To help with medical costs (any amount helps), donate online.
- To sponsor a community outreach event, contact Lena Lieb.
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