At the Blessing of the Animals outside the church at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, BBUUC members and friends will have the opportunity to tangibly bless Jacksonville’s animals by making donations of cat food, dog food, and other items to First Coast No More Homeless Pets. By providing low-cost spay/neuter services, FCNMHP addresses the overpopulation problem that leads to so many unnecessary deaths. In addition, FCNMHP keeps animals out of shelters by providing low-cost veterinary services, to help people keep their animals in the home. Lee Plumb is generously coordinating these donations and asks that people bring the following items, either to the blessing October 14 or to church on October 15:
- Large bags of dry cat food (the single greatest need)
- Dry dog food
- Canned cat and dog food
- Blankets (no stuffing)
- Towels, sheets, and pillowcases
- 100% cotton cloth, minimum of one yard, which Lee will cut to the proper size for trap covers for calming feral cats
If you are handy, you can even make and donate trap covers for calming feral cats during transport: 36” by 58”, made from old sheets or other lightweight cotton, with a slit in the middle of the long side for the trap handle, no hem needed.
As Unitarian Universalists, we have a special connection to FCNMHP. The organization’s greatest benefactor, for whom their building is named, was Jacksonville businessman Joseph Strasser, who died in 2021. Joseph was born in Austria. The Nazis soon rose to power, and when Joseph was six years old, his father was taken to a concentration camp. Joseph and his brother escaped to the United States via train and ship, in a daring rescue arranged and carried out by Martha Sharp. Martha had relocated to Europe as Hitler’s grip on the continent tightened. She and her husband, Unitarian minister Rev. Waitstill Sharp, had made the move at the request of the American Unitarian Association, to help refugees flee Nazi persecution.
So, a Unitarian minister’s wife aided the escape of a boy who would grow up to become the greatest benefactor of the organization we are helping this month, First Coast No More Homeless Pets. We look forward to seeing you and your animals at the Blessing at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14.