All creatures great and small have a friend in Ilizabethe Zelandais. An avid cyclist and runner she’s also the benefactor of homeless animals in need of refuge from the tribulations a cruel and uncertain world. This self-proclaimed “fairy dog mother” extends her love of fury four-legged companions by raising funds and awareness for the good work of the Dane County Humane Society. And over the next two months Liz hopes that you’ll help support her personal pledge drive she calls Sweat 4 Shelter.
Actually it’s more of a pledge ride. Through September and October Liz will peddle her bike to work, 27-miles round trip each day. During this period she hopes that those who love animals as much as she does will consider giving a small donation to help provide homes for dogs and cats in need of rescue. Liz also wants to encourage those who can to use their bicycles for transportation as part of an active sustainable lifestyle.
“Nothing brings on commitment like making it public and asking people to put money on it,” she said recently, “particularly when that money will save precious lives.”
Typically on the Joy Trip Project I write about the extremes of athletic performance. Usually the stories I share here are about those who aim to do extraordinary things to inspire others to help make the world a better place. Even though this technical writer from Texas doesn’t plan to paddle across the Pacific Ocean or climb to the summit of Mount Everest Liz has apparently taken her own cue from the lessons I’ve shared here to create a Joy Trip within the scale and capacity of her abilities. Though well within the realm of possible for most able-bodied Americans Liz deserves a lot of credit for making a commitment to dedicate her daily commute to the protection of vulnerable dogs and cats.
And if you think what she hopes to accomplish is easy, think again. With so many more convenient alternatives to choose from, most of us would likely loose interest after a week of trying and move on to something else. By declaring her intention and reaching out for the support of friends and family, Liz is putting her integrity on the line and that takes courage. As a friend I for one applaud her efforts and aim to support her cause. I’m in for $50. Who’s with me?
And if you don’t have the cash to spare, remember that in the world of social media you can help just by clicking “like” and sharing this story with your friends over Facebook and Twitter. Even that small gesture can affirm your support of Liz’s efforts and inform others who might have the ability to pony up a little cash. At the very least I hope you’ll consider the ways in which you might help the causes that are important you. Sometimes even small acts of dedication can make the difference in the lives of those less fortunate. And like my friend the Fairy Dog Mother bring the gift of shelter to homeless animals by simply riding to work. ~ JEM
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