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LHP employees are known for their love of pets. It is no surprise then that several Random Act of Kindness teams chose to do something extra nice for furry friends in need. Several of their happy tales are in this week’s summary of five RAK entries….

Dandridge Tower

Dandridge Tower. Team members: Dawn Crawford, Joisade Wilford, Dale Daye, Jerry Hill and Larry Evans.

Hickory Forest. Team members:  Rebecca Sterling and Annie McDoggle.

In animal shelters across the country, stray pets sadly spend most of their days confined in a small space with limited interaction.  Bored, the animals may begin to chew or scratch on kennel hardware or worse, themselves. In a short period of time, the destructive behavior becomes a habit which makes the animal less likely to be adopted.

Animal welfare workers would much prefer to provide every homeless pet with ample space, friendly playmates and lots of attention. But most shelters are nonprofits that struggle to fund even the basic necessities the animals need to survive—food, shelter and medical care.  Pet treats and toys are a luxury.

Dandridge Tower

The Metro Animal Care and Control Center in Nashville takes in more than 650 animals each month. The shelter’s needs are great. Not just one, but two LHP employee RAK teams selected the shelter for their acts of kindness and neither one knew that the other had. The teams bought dog treats, bones and chew toys to give to the shelter dogs and pups.

The shelter staff thanked both teams for their generous and thoughtful gifts. But the biggest reward came from the dogs themselves, according to Hickory Forest team leader Rebecca Sterling. In the team’s entry, she wrote, “…it didn’t really hit home until I saw the dogs’ tails wagging and their eyes light up with excitement when they were given an item.  The amount of joy this gave me makes me want to do this out of my own pocket when finances allow.”

Hickory Forest

Hickory Hollow Towers. Team members: Penny Ledbetter, Kayla Ramos and Albert Morton.

Hickory Hollow

The RAK event provided staff from Hickory Hollow Towers with a golden opportunity to bestow an act of kindness upon fellow employee Phyllis Westbrook, who is the Chippington Towers II community director and who “gives so much of herself asking nothing in return,” according to the team’s entry.

Team leader Penny Ledbetter wrote, “Let me give you some insight on just how big her heart is.  Phyllis is a single mom who works very hard to provide for her family. For many years she raised two kids on her own and worked so hard to keep a roof over their heads, shoes on their feet and food on the table. One day she was asked to baby sit and at the end of the day the mother didn’t show up to pick up the kids. Phyllis waited for several days and still no one picked up the kids. Most people would have called child services to come pick up the kids, but not Phyllis. She put her own struggles aside and told child services she would keep the kids until the mother was found. Ultimately the mother never surfaced so Phyllis adopted those two children and became a single mother of four. She now has a grandbaby on the way and will have another member in the household.”

The team felt it was time to show Phyllis the kindness she has shown so often to others.  They supplied her with two jumbo boxes of diapers, eight packs of diaper wipes and a little onesie that said, “My Grandma’s teaching me to be Fabulous.” Sounds like she will be an excellent teacher.

Imperial Garden and Colony Square. Team members: Laura Battin, Connie Moore, Veronica Brown, Stephen Leas, Antonio Quarles, Timothy Brown, Jerry LeFlore and Connie Dodd.

Smyrna Primary School teachers and students received a huge boost of more than $200 of back-to-school supplies. Imperial Garden and Colony Square combined forces to purchase items on the school wish list, such as glue sticks, binders, composition notebooks, pencil boxes and Kleenex boxes.  The supplies arrived August 8 just in time for the first day of school which was August 9.

Imperial Garden

Smyrna Primary is where residents’ children attend school.  The guidance counselor thanked the teams and said the supplies would be put to good use. While visiting the school, team members learned that shoes are one of the biggest needs. The school keeps a shoe pantry so if a student shows up in torn/damaged shoes, a teacher can give them a pair from the pantry.  Team members departed thinking about how they could have a shoe drive in the upcoming months—yet another way to share some kindness.