Although fictional, J.R.R. Tolkien’s famed series, The Lord of the Rings, does a great job of highlighting some extraordinary truths that are important for us to understand. One such truth comes from a quote by one of the main characters in the story, Gandalf. In the midst of confusion and fear, he states,
Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…small acts of kindness and love.
Life Leadership members across the globe exemplify this statement. While one of the main purposes of inspiring people to change their thinking is to help reverse the downward spiral of the deterioration of personal freedoms; Life Leadership has also recently launched the Life on Life Initiative to inspire these same ordinary people to commit small daily acts of kindness and love. This intentional effort to make a difference is picking up speed through the Snowball Effect, as hundreds and thousands of individuals’ hearts around the world are being stirred.
Life on Life at the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS)
Recently, a team of Life Leadership members decided to help out at a local animal shelter in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan. UPAWS, located in Negaunee Township, is a facility that takes in unwanted or abandoned animals and cares for them until they can find them a new home. At the moment, the staff/volunteers at UPAWS care for dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits. At times, they have had pigs and snakes, as well. Just in 2015, UPAWS has taken in 885 animals and adopted out or returned 838 of them to date.
“It has been rewarding knowing that we can help out with extra tasks and cleaning at UPAWS, given that the staff members don’t have much time to get those extra tasks done. Most importantly, they work very hard to keep all of the animals comfortable while at the facility.” -Brooke Wisuri (Life Leadership member and UPAWS employee)
Life Leadership member, Brooke Wisuri, works as an employee at UPAWS. She saw the need for some volunteer help, and–being inspired by the new Life on Life Initiative–commissioned her local Life Leadership team to fill the gap. There is always a list of chores that need to be done, and the outside maintenance somehow always ends up last on the list. The U.P. Crusaders team decided to bring their rakes and shovels to spend the entire afternoon cleaning and sprucing up the entrance area of the UPAWS facility.
“It’s amazing to see how just a few hours of your time can make such a huge impact on an organization. Thank you, Life Leadership, for inspiring us with the Life on Life Initiative!” -Sara Wisuri (Life Leadership member)
A few members tackled the overgrown flower garden–weeding and trimming to make it look sharp and fresh again. They also pruned an out-of-control rose bush, along with a tree that had multiple shoots sprouting. A couple of other teammates took some time to clean the outside dog kennels, go on “dog dropping” duty along the side of the road, and rake leaves in the outside sitting area.
“The Life Leadership group was very professional, prompt, courteous, organized and hard working. They had a can-do positive attitude. I was very impressed. They approached me with an idea to help our non-profit no-kill shelter. Our yard and grounds were in desperate need of attention and Brooke Wisuri could see a need and had the solution! The Life Leadership group came in on Saturday and took charge with the task at hand. They had the tools needed and a perfect number of people to tackle the job. They raked, pulled weeds, cleaned and went above and beyond. The grounds looked fantastic after they were done. They did a great job.” –Ann Brownell (Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator)
Imagine what kind of world we would create if, like the U.P. Crusaders team, we would all get in the habit of organizing intentional and frequent acts of kindness and love in our local communities. Life Leadership is proud to be represented by this group of winners and their contribution to the Life on Life Initiative!