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Paws and Applause: Thank You to Our Better Neighbor Project Volunteers

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, a time for reflection and expressing gratitude, we at Michelson Found Animals want to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt appreciation to our incredible team of volunteers who support our Better Neighbor Project program. Their unwavering dedication and selfless service are the cornerstone of our community’s success, enabling us to provide essential pet wellness resources to those in need.

Our volunteers embody the true spirit of compassion and generosity, tirelessly giving their time and expertise to make a difference in the lives of pets and their families. They are the unsung heroes of our organization, working humbly behind the scenes to ensure that pets in our communities receive the care they deserve.

Since establishing the Better Neighbor Project (BNP) in 2020, over 5,520 volunteer hours have been fulfilled for BNP, and over 110,000 pets and families have been served by the program, thanks to our devoted volunteers, staff, and community partners.

Pictured here: Pet Wellness Day on October 21, 2023, in Hollywood, CA, where hundreds of families and pets received free care thanks to our committed team.

Keeping pets and families together is the core of BNP’s mission. In collaboration with community and civic partners, we provide direct support to pet owners through free veterinary care, pet wellness and hygiene, spay/neuter, and so much more. Volunteer duties for BNP include assisting at our warehouse, working weekly pet food pantries, and working monthly Pet Wellness Days across Greater Los Angeles. Our volunteers play a vital role in every aspect of BNP’s operations. Their commitment to animal welfare is unwavering, and their passion for helping pets is evident in every task they undertake.

Pictured here: Michelson Found Animals Founder & Co-Chair Alya Michelson volunteering at BNP’s free pet pantry at the Weingart East YMCA in Boyle Heights.

Pictured here: A group of volunteers from Liberty Employment Services packing pet food at the BNP warehouse in Los Angeles

Volunteering with us is not merely a task; it is a calling, a labor of love that requires dedication, empathy, and a genuine love for animals. Our volunteers embody these qualities wholeheartedly, and their contributions have an immeasurable impact on the lives of countless pets.

What I love most about it, it is a very rare opportunity to get to see the work that you’re doing actually tangibly impact people. A lot of times, when you volunteer, you don’t always get to see things go directly into people’s hands, but when you’re here, you get to have that relationship with a community of individuals. Everyone here you have something in common with, and I think that’s rare, even with a volunteer opportunity, that you get to have those conversations. People talk about their lives and the impact this program has on them and their families, and so it’s my favorite day every month. You get paid in smiles, dog kisses, cat snuggles, it’s the best.” – Stacy, BNP Volunteer

Pictured here: Long-time Better Neighbor Project volunteers Stacy & Sarah

“Everybody knows everyone. Everyone knows their weaknesses and their strengths, and everyone is willing to pitch in when there is a need. I just think it’s wonderful. I just love it and will continue to do it for as long as I can.”  – BNP Volunteer Sarah

The work of our volunteers extends beyond the walls of our foundation, reaching into the hearts and homes of countless pet owners. They provide comfort and support to those struggling with financial hardship, ensuring their beloved pets receive the care they need.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we want to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of our volunteers. Your selfless service is a testament to the power of compassion and the impact individuals can make in the lives of animals and the community. Thank you for your unwavering dedication, commitment to animal welfare, and love for pets. You are the heart and soul of our foundation, and we are truly grateful for your contributions. Interested in volunteering with the Better Neighbor Project? Visit betterneighborla.org to apply and join our pet-loving community.