The Humane Society of Columbiana County and volunteers recently launched a "blessing box" dedicated to provision of items for animals. The project is called "St. Francis Blessing Box."
A bit about St. Francis...Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment. He even preached to animals, believing all creation to be brothers and sisters.
Appropriate that this group would name its project in his honor.
Until four years ago, I thought folks were kind of silly about their animals. We had a cat. Cookie. He is alright. It wasn't until Baron, a 100-pound German Shepherd, came into our home that I "got it." For so many people, living with a companion animal dramatically improves quality of life. I think about this when I drive past the rail-thin gentleman who panhandles at the intersection nearest my office. He pushes a shopping cart of belongings, among them, two small, brown tabby cats. According to Pets of the Homeless, 5-10% of homeless people have cats or dogs, that percentage rising to 24% in some places. I think about the comfort Baron brings me from the comfort of a home and plenty. I imagine for many poor and homeless folks, that comfort is even more valuable.
Helping pets of poor and homeless folks helps the folks themselves. Sometimes maybe more than food, and I am grateful to those, like the Humane Society of Columbiana County in Salem, Ohio, who "get it."
In addition to his care for creatures, St. Francis took a vow of poverty, living among and ministering to the poor and sick. He famously said, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." Maybe he should be the patron saint of pantries, too.
Read more about St. Francis Blessing Box here: