Kyle Barrell, HR Director
One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir.”
The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”
The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”
We’ve all heard this story and it rings true each and every time the Reading and Northern Railroad is so generous to sponsor the “Free Adoption Weekends” at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County. According to aspca.org, an estimated 6.5 million animals enter shelters in the U.S. each year. The number of deserving animals the railroad has sponsored (135 total animals between November and February events) may seem small in proportion to the overall number of animals in shelters, but it has meant the world to the animals we have connected with their new families.
During the most recent adoption weekend on February 15th – 17th, the total number of animals joining a new family was 53- 33 cats, 8 kittens and 12 dogs. This was a lower number of adoptions then our event in November due to time of year, weather and many animals being fostered and adopted out over the holidays. Typically, the ARL will see an influx of animals in the beginning of Spring due to many baby animals being born and families maybe realizing that the animal they fostered or adopted, is too much work and responsibility or isn’t necessarily for them.
With that being said, each and every animal that is fostered or adopted, positively impacts the ARL, the family, and most importantly, the animal. A lot goes into choosing the right animal and the railroad’s generosity allows families to take that final step in opening their doors to a new, four-legged family member.
Again, this time, we had some RBMN employees spending some time assisting families and staff at the ARL. Sabine Fidler, Human Resources Assistant, and her niece, Gabi, and nephew, Alex, volunteered on Saturday, and it was very evident, very quickly that the families coming to the ARL, were on a mission. “The anticipation on the visitors’ faces was palpable as it was apparent, they were hoping to find a new family member,” quipped Sabine.
Tom Hubric, Executive Director, and his staff are kind-hearted, passionate individuals who take the time to match families and the perfect pet through understanding the families’ needs, wants and experience with caring for an animal. The entire experience of being part of an adoption weekend at the Animal Rescue League is a rewarding experience and truly does make a world of difference to each animal that is taken into their new home.