Giving Back and Paying It Forward
There’s something intrinsic about giving — a sense of purpose and humility. I have long known the equestrian community to be compassionate and generous, in part, I believe, because horses are compassionate and generous with us. When a horse presses his head to ours or wraps us in a neck embrace, we are compelled to pay it forward.
The pandemic of 2020 has significantly affected fundraising for many charities. This will have an impact on the animals and people that so many charities help.
What you can do to pay it forward
- Food banks in many parts of the country are desperate. You can donate food, time, or money.
- Horse rescues need funding to buy hay and feed. You can also donate supplies like vet wrap and Furazone, used blankets, halters, and buckets.
- Pack up the clothes you no longer wear and take them to the Salvation Army.
- Be a Secret Santa for a family that is struggling.
- Pay the tab for the person behind you in line when you’re picking up food or coffee.
- Buy gift certificates at animal hospitals to be given anonymously to clients in need.
- Go to a department store and pay off someone’s layaway — a great way to pay it forward.
- Foster a dog or cat from a shelter.
- Make your own personal care packages for a homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter.
- Reach out to friends and family who may be suffering.
Since BioStar’s inception in 2007, we have given back to select charities every quarter. The organizations we’ve supported have ranged from horse and dog rescues to environmental causes, and support for veterans.
The four charities Biostar has supported in 2020 are:
Horses for a Change provides quality riding instruction on school horses, including beginner lessons, therapeutic riding, and youth horsemanship. Interacting with horses teaches children patience and focus, helps reduce anxiety, and improves communication skills. It also provides a physical activity that is fun and deeply engaging.
American Pets Alive! has a mission to end the urgent crises facing shelter animals by helping save millions of dogs, cats, and other pets needlessly being killed in shelters across the country each year. It is a national program focused on widespread implementation of proven methods to help communities save more lives more quickly.
Humble is Brianna Noble’s project to increase accessibility to equestrian experiences for People of Color and marginalized, underprivileged communities that have generally been excluded from the horse world. Located outside of Oakland, CA, Humble is proud to introduce urban youth to all of the special gifts that come with a connection to horses.
Red Rover helps animals rescued from disasters or neglect, domestic violence survivors seeking safety with their pets, and animals with life-threatening illnesses. Programs include Red Rover Relief for pet owners in need, Red Rover Responders for animals displaced by disaster or cruelty, and Red Rover Reader, which is a tool to teach children empathy and compassion.
Organizations supported by members of the BioStar Team
The Trees Remember plants trees in National Forests to honor the life of friends or loved ones. Helping to restore woodlands under the supervision of the US Forest Service. You can select which National Forest to plant trees in. I give to this charity every year in honor and memory of my father, who taught me about the language of trees.
American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is well known for providing special experiences to children with critical illnesses. They provide hope to families when they need it most, and have positively impacted members of our own BioStar family.
The Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler is the largest all-women’s foot race in Virginia. The race benefits the UVA Cancer Center Breast Care Program and funds breast cancer research and screenings and care for underserved populations of the commonwealth. Early detection is key to breast cancer survival rate and since 1983, The Women’s Four Miler has contributed over 3.5 million dollars to support this mission.
MAD Cats otherwise known as Madison Community Cats, strives to improve the lives of community (feral) cats in Culpeper and Madison County. They operate a Trap-Neuter-Return program to help reduce the number of unwanted litters and work collaboratively with other rescue groups to reduce the number of cats surrendered to shelters. Many of the colony caretakers are senior citizens with a fixed income and transportation issues. By providing cat carriers and pick up and delivery services MAD Cats helps prevent unwanted litters of kittens. To date the organization has had 577 cats go through their TNR service in 2020.
Almost Home Pet Adoption Center of Nelson County strives to improve animal welfare by providing care and adoption of companion animals through their no-kill adoption center, foster care networks, satellite adoption venues, and kitten and puppy rescue/ transportation programs. BioStar’s own Lazarus the Plott Hound found his way to Rick through this special rural shelter.
K-9 New Life, based in Virginia Beach, takes in dogs from shelters when they have run out of time or are too injured or sick for a shelter’s resources. BioStar’s Grace the Plott Hound spent time with K-9 New Life on the way to her forever home with Rick.
The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA is another local shelter near and dear to our hearts. Tori and Emily are avid foster parents, having fostered a combined total of twelve dogs (and one cat!) throughout 2020. Two of those foster dogs were lucky enough to become permanent BioStar dogs. Daniel, from our local brick-and-mortar pet store Crate & Marrow, is also a supporter of the CASPCA by spoiling those foster dogs with high-quality food and treats, as well as contributing his own time and outreach. As a bonus, Daniel’s personal foster dog is also due to become the official queen of Crate & Marrow Charlottesville. Several BioStar employees have supported or adopted pets from the CASPCA over the years.
If you need some guidance in finding and choosing charitable organizations when deciding to pay it forward, Charity Navigator is an excellent resource.
Let’s share the compassion and generosity of our horses with those animals and humans in need this year. Let’s share the light.