Monday, May 10, 2010

Do You Give Back to Your Community?

This kitten may grow up wild in the streets near your home, licking its paws from car oil and discharge, suffering from agonizing pain, afraid of humans, or it may be lucky and find a loving home and grow up healthy and playful.

Are you looking to give back to your community? To volunteer your time or offer your skills to make a difference? Do you have strong desire to do more than just write a check?

In this economy many are grateful for their jobs, their health, their families. I know I am truly blessed for all of the above. My mother always raised me to give thanks for what I have, to give back, even in time of need. But writing a check was too easy and not as joyous. Then I stumbled upon a cause by accident where I make a tremendous difference with my time and skills and it is so rewarding! Won't you join me?

If you're an animal lover and like cats, then you can help with just a couple of hours of your time. Even if you think you're not a cat person, believe me, spending one day with these creatures and you will discover their unique traits, personalities, habits, antics, and a possibly a new love! This is a great way for students to fulfill their community service requirements!

"What's a home?"

      The Cat Network is in desperate need of volunteers!
 It's kitten season, and hundreds of homeless kittens are born everyday that shelters and organizations are overflowing. You can help in different ways and it's so easy and fun! Best of all--it's absolutely uplifting!

a. Foster a kitten or a few (we'll teach you how) until they are old enough to be adopted. You do have to be a CN member but it's only a $25 fee.

b. Supervise and show kittens at pet store adoption centers once a week or once a month. So they are not cooped up all day, that human touch and interaction is important to keep them socialized.

c. Help with TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) homeless cats in your neighborhood or nearby. Cat Network will teach you how.

What a difference a home makes!
Pebbles used to be scared and timid. Now she's an entertainer!

We are a network of volunteers from all professional backgrounds--teachers, lawyers, small business owners, housewives, scientists and other professionals. We are too few volunteers to care for record number of homeless kittens due to the recession--people dumping their indoor cats, unspayed/un-neutered, into the streets!

For example, the PetSmart in Midtown, PetSmart across from the Falls, and the new PetSmart in Coral Way are in need of volunteers! The Cat Network operates the adoption centers and we need responsible, animal-loving volunteers to help supervise, show cats to potential adopters and/or clean cages.

What a difference a home makes!

Misha is an older cat saved from the clutches of euthanasia after her owner passed away. She now lives in mid-Atlantic and loves the spring weather to explore outside, climb trees and watch the birds and butterflies.

Please know that the Cat Network does NOT have a physical facility to house cats. All cats temporarily live with volunteers or foster families or reside at the adoption center at pet stores. That's why we need more volunteers!

To volunteer in the Kendall area, please call Agnetta at the Cat Network at 786-380-1196 and leave a message. To volunteer at the PetSmart in Midtown Miami, please email Tia or Alan at
Thank you for considering! You can make a difference! And if you work insane hours with little free time to spare, then please don't hesitate to write that check!

Make check payable to CAT NETWORK and mail to:
90 SW 3rd Street
Miami, FL 33130


I Am An Animal Rescuer

Sent by: Annette Kincker

I am an animal rescuer.

I will never bring about world peace.

I will not save the rain forest.

I'm not a brain surgeon and I'll never transplant an organ to save a life.

I don't have the ear of a powerful politician or world power.

I can't end world hunger. I'm not a celebrity, and God knows I'm not glamorous!

I'm not looked up to by millions around the world. Very few people even recognize my name.

I'll never win the Nobel Prize.

I'll never save the rain forest or end global warming.

There are a lot of things that I'll never do or become.

But today I placed a cat in a loving home!!!

It was a small, scared, bundle of flesh and bones that was dropped off by unfeeling people that didn't care what happened to it, but yet who were responsible for it even having existence in the first place. I found it a home. It now has contentment and an abundance of love. A warm place to sleep and plenty to eat. A child has a warm fuzzy new friend who will give them unquestioning devotion and teach them about responsibility and love. A wife and mother has a new spirit to nurture and care for. A husband and a father has a companion to sit at his feet at the end of a hard day of work and help him relax and enjoy life. And a sense of security, that when he is gone all day at work, that there is a protector and a guardian in his home to keep watch over his family.

No, I'm not a rocket scientist but today I saved one of God's precious creatures.

Today, I made a difference!
I Am An Animal Rescuer.

My job is to assist God's creatures.
I was born with the need to fulfill their needs. I take in new family members without plan, thought or selection. I have bought dog food with my last dime. I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand. I have hugged someone vicious and afraid. I have fallen in love a thousand times and I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body.

I have Animal Friends and friends who have Animal Friends. I don't often use the word "pet." I notice those lost at the road side and my heart aches.

I know of no creature unworthy of my time. I want to live forever if there aren't animals in Heaven but I believe there are!

Why would God make something so perfect and leave it behind? We may be master of the animals, but the animals have mastered themselves. Something people still haven't learned.

War and abuse make me hurt for the world but a rescue that makes the news gives me hope for humankind.

We are a quiet but determined army and making a difference every day.

There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan.

There is nothing more rewarding than saving a life.

No higher recognition than watching them thrive.

There is no greater joy than seeing a baby play who only days ago, was too weak to eat.
I am an Animal Rescuer.

My work is never done. My home is never quiet.

My wallet is always empty, but my heart is always full.

In the game of life, I have already won!

~ Annette Kincker ~

As animal rescuers and caretakers, we thank Annette for her eloquent and moving words that beautifully sums up our never-ending efforts but brings us infinite joy.

Would you like to make a difference with a meager amount of your time, just a couple hours a month? Won't you consider volunteering in some way? Click here for more information.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Christine Meets Greg Mortenson

My mother Elizabeth, me, and Greg Mortenson

Greg Mortenson-- a skilled nurse, talented mountain-climber, amateur fundraiser, and possessing the patience of an old oak tree is really, for lack of a better word--a saint. Not a hero, a saint.

While some reviewers offered slight criticism of his famed book (Three Cups of Tea, click here for my review) that the storytelling was dry and read more like an upbeat news report, the story alone is a miracle. Everyone should read this book. It is educational, uplifting, powerful, riveting, breathtaking and will leave you breathless.

As it turns out, the subject of most of the books I read is about the strength of one person, usually a woman, who survives incredible obstacles, pain, suffering without shattering mentally and physically into a thousand pieces. But Three Cups of Tea is not the self depending on one's self strength, worth and atonement. Rather the livelihood of others depends on you. Parents can relate. But what about a group of people with absolutely no familial blood lines or who don't even live on the same continent, are depending on you? "The world rests on your shoulders" is but an understatement.

Three Cups of Tea breathes new life to the over-wraught dictum that "one CAN make a difference." So when my mother and I were next in line for the meet-greet-book signing, with Greg Mortenson, the first thing she exclaimed "You should have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!" I have to agree. Greg didn't just talk the talk (sorry but with all due respect to our President, how can anyone nominate him when he hadn't accomplished anything yet), he walked the walk and single-handedly fought back the terrorists without weapons, but by providing schools for village girls.

Hmm, incorporating the intelligence of a woman into everyday community affairs including the process of fighting evil doers! What a concept!

I was honored to meet Greg, shake his hand, and thank him for his valiant efforts. He should be canonized for his heart of spirit, devotion and miraculous feats! I second my mother's nomination!
Get your issue now on Amazon for the lowest price of $9.36. Click below!
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time