BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) has kicked off its 1,000 Acts of Kindness campaign. The group hopes people from across the state and country will help fulfill their goal of performing 1,000 random acts of kindness before the end of the year.
The campaign was inspired by two recent acts of kindness.
ACT OF KINDNESS 1
- The first event was the catalyst for this campaign involved Tanya O’Reilly, a long-time Humane Society member and volunteer. A few months ago, Tanya was walking her dog in New Orleans when she heard a small tapping sound. She continued walking her dog and then turned around to investigate further. Tanya walked back to the place where she first heard the sound and looked up. To her surprise, she saw three bird feeders and one with plastic or glass in front revealed a hummingbird had been trapped inside of it and couldn’t escape. She also noticed a second hummingbird was perched close by, keeping the other one company. Tanya knocked on a resident’s door and told the woman who answered about the trapped bird. The neighbor was surprised and explained she and her husband heard the same noise the previous night as they returned to their home from shopping. The woman’s husband retrieved a long ladder, climbed the steps, unhooked the bird feeder, and carried it down. He then plied the top off the bird feeder and the hummingbird immediately flew up to be with the other hummingbird. That story, according to Jeff Dorson, executive director of HSL, made a profound difference. “Even the smallest act of compassion, thoughtfulness or kindness can make a big difference to those being helped,” said Dorson.
ACT OF KINDNESS 2
- A few weeks later, a second incident made Dorson rethink how everyone can make a bigger difference by taking a positive action, no matter how big or small. This second action, however, did require a lot of time, resources, and logistical support. A few weeks ago, HSL received a call that a pregnant homeless dog was about to give birth outside on the cold wet ground in Kinder, Louisiana in Allen Parish. Asking a volunteer to drive seven hours round trip to try to locate a stray pregnant dog is no easy feat, but Marika Sadkowska, one of the HSL’s go-to volunteers, agreed to make the trip. Several hours later, with the help of neighbors, Marika located the dog, Brees, under a shed as she was giving birth. Marika and the local residents gently placed Brees in the back of Marika’s car and she was eventually delivered to Mandeville Animal Hospital with her five puppies. Brees’ story was posted on HSL’s social media channels and has been shared hundreds of times.
“These two actions really got me thinking about how important it is to go a little or a lot out of our way to help animals in need. I wanted these two special rescues to be the cornerstone of something bigger, of something that hundreds and maybe thousands of people could replicate if given the chance and a little nudge,” said Dorson.
Those wish to participate in the campaign simply have to post a picture and description of their act of kindness on HSL’s Facebook page. HSL hopes to increase the amount of participation each year.