Mensches and Mitzvahs

I’ve seen a lot of articles lately about how Facebook makes people feel lonely and disenfranchised, and I have friends who dismiss social media as being unproductive or a time waster.  I love Facebook, though.  Even if I’m only seeing people at their curated best, it allows me to keep up with treasured friends and be inspired by the things they’re doing.  One of these friends is Heather Kelly.

Heather and I met around fifteen years ago when we worked at the same law firm in Washington, DC.  Neither one of us had a good experience there, and we both left, me for consulting and Heather for another firm.  Despite good intentions, it’s hard to stay in touch with friends you don’t see every day, even if you live in the same metropolitan area.  Heather and I saw each other every now and then and exchanged occasional e-mails, but then I took a job that had me traveling 80% of the time and exacerbated that by moving back to Texas.  I haven’t seen Heather in person in years, but we found each other on Facebook, where I learned that not only is Heather smart and funny and pretty, she is

also a mensch who does God’s work every Saturday.

Heather is an athlete – she’s a marathon runner, and she swims.  (I would not be surprised if someone told me that she’s also a cyclist and that she does Iron Man triathlons.)  Every Saturday, Heather volunteers those athletic skills with the Washington Humane Society and takes the dogs the WHS is housing for a run in Rock Creek Park as part of its People and Animal Cardio Klub (PACK) program.  Do I know this because Heather brags about what a good volunteer she is?  No.  I know this because every Saturday morning, Heather writes a report on Facebook that describes the dog she ran with in loving, warm, humorous detail and includes pictures with excellent captions in an effort to find him or her a forever home.  Here’s an example:

Well until this morning, Snoopy was my favorite Peanuts character. Until I met Charlie Brown, the World Famous One-eyed Wonder Pup! Maybe you saw him in the Washington Post this week… some folks did – including a runner who veered off course toward us, calling “is *that* Charlie Brown?” asking if he could pet him. Yep, he was my PACK pupartner today! I knida did the Snoopy dance.

He may be famous around here now, but this peanut had a rough start to life. After his heroes at the Washington Humane Society got him the surgery he needed, plus loads and loads of TLC, Charlie Brown is on the track to big things.

So he’s healthy, famous and working on gaining confidence (I mean he’s *Charlie Brown* … of course he needs some confidence building) and now all he really wants is someone to love and to love him back. Maybe there’s a Little Red-haired girl out there for Charlie Brown…

If you know her, let her know Charlie Brown is waiting at the Washington Humane Society’s New York Avenue shelter.

On the way to Rock Creek Park with Charlie Brown.

On the way to Rock Creek Park with Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown, getting sleepy after his hike.

Charlie Brown, getting sleepy after his hike.

Charlie Brown, snoozing after big fun with the rest of the Peanuts at PACK.

Charlie Brown, snoozing after big fun with the rest of the Peanuts at PACK.

Every Saturday I consider flying to DC to adopt Heather’s PACK partner.  I’m happy and relieved when she posts during the week that one of her PACK buddies has been adopted.

I got Heather’s permission to use her full name and to copy and paste one of her PACK posts.  She wants you all to know that she’s sorry about the typos.  There are typos because Heather writes these up in the car with her thumbs on her iPhone immediately after she drops her PACK partner back at the shelter.  I’ve asked her to make the PACK posts public, so you can see them here.

I’ve always been a Heather Kelly fan for selfish reasons – she’s fun to hang out with, she makes me laugh, and she’s a good friend.  Now I’m a Heather Kelly fan because she’s a mensch who has inspired me to think about how to use my blessings for greater good.  I have Facebook to thank for that.

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1 Response to Mensches and Mitzvahs

  1. Pingback: Gluttony: Sinful and (Almost) Sinless Versions | Travel, Food, and Life

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