Tag Archives: volunteering

SNIPPETS (8-20-18)



A short video starring the furry felines at the Friends of Cats from my 2½ hours volunteering on August 19, 2018.


I will be volunteering at Friends of Cats for 2½ hours each day, Sunday through Thursday. Yesterday I spent most of my time letting the FIV cats know that they have not been forgotten. They really enjoyed having me with them. Except this one. I wasn’t fooled. I saw him watching me.

Cat eye


I have a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from Texas A&M University. So I do, uh, kinda like trees. However, treeless mountains also can be quite beautiful, like these over near Death Valley National Monument in California.

Treeless mountains


Now, along with alternative facts and fake news, we have Rudy Giuliani telling us that “Truth isn’t truth.” Zoey the Cool Cat agrees, I think. Maybe not. Maybe she’s just being sarcastic.

Truth isn't truth!


While volunteering at Friends of Cats for National Clear the Shelters Day on Saturday, I met my first heterochromia cat. Previously all I had seen were pictures. Now I have my own picture.

White cat with heterochromia

Heterochromia can occur in humans and dogs as well as cats. With cats, it occurs mostly in white cats. One eye almost always is blue in humans, dogs, and cats.


When I came home Saturday after 8 hours volunteering for Friends of Cats, I went to hug Zoey the Cool Cat. She smelled me and gave me a look that said, “Dude! You’ve been cheating on me!” A video of many of the little furry ones that I had the pleasure to cheat with on my first day of volunteering


While I was roaming the country a few weeks ago, I made it a point to visit all the great railroad spots, such as the historic California railroad yards in Barstow and Yermo. Here’s a video of a Union Pacific freight train heading west into the Barstow yard. From there it will go either to San Francisco, Los Angeles, or San Diego.


This little guy’s name is Chuckie. He lives at the Friends of Cats shelter in El Cajon, California. He is a finicky eater, preferring only whole chicken from Costco.



Got the official diagnosis Saturday on Zoey the Cool Cat’s blood, poop, and pee analysis. She’s diabetic, although not severe enough to require daily insulin shots. The vet wants to give her a significant change of diet.

Zoey the Cool Cat book


It is often said that you don’t choose a cat, a cat chooses you. I saw that on Saturday while volunteering all day at Friends of Cats shelter in El Cajon, California. It was very moving.

A teen boy came in with his mom. They sat on the floor and were petting cats. A black cat (yeah black cats!) named Ace, a “problem cat” that had been in the shelter for several years, came up to him, flopped on the floor, and proceeded to let the boy rub his tummy and head, and even pick him up. Ace wanted to snuggle and generally told this boy that he was the one. The boy took him home.

Staff was astounded because Ace had never done such before.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post


100 things YOU can do to make a difference


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

FuchsiaI’ve been fortunate because I don’t have all my eggs in one basket. I work persistently and consistently on my daily plans, often creating niche markets, niche economies, and niche environments that insulate me from the doom and gloom over which I have no control.

Even more important, I get out and contribute to my community. For those occasions when I cannot contribute to my community, I’ll write a check.

The recent mass murder (it was much more than what the press calls a “mass shooting”) in Colorado reminds me that, as Hillary Clinton said, “It takes a village….”

FuchsiaFor those people who continue to rant about things over which you have no control, I would suggest getting out in your community and volunteering. You probably won’t make any money today or tomorrow, but I can guarantee you a lot of good will, and if you’ll make sure that people know who you are and what you do for a living, you just might be surprised at how fast one good turn will return another good turn.

My life has been full of volunteerism, so much so that too often I let the unpaid volunteer job interfere with the paid professional job. I started with Key Club in high school, moved on to Alpha Phi Omega National Co-ed Service Fraternity in college, and then to Red Cross, American Heart Association, Special Olympics, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and many, many others.

FuchsiaFollowing are 100 things you can do to help the world. I have done them all at some point in my life. Don’t let your ego get in the way of contributing to your neighborhood and city. Keep in mind that businesses have liability concerns, so the type of services that you’re allowed to volunteer for might be limited.

  1. Adopt a block in your neighborhood and pick up the trash and pull the weeds growing in the sidewalk cracks.
  2. Have a block party. Make sure you inform the city in case permits or safety personnel are required.
  3. If you can’t have a block party, have a moving or rolling supper. We did this in college in Alpha Phi Omega where we had hors d’oeuvres at one house, salad at another, soup at another, etc. Great way to meet people and have fun.
  4. FuchsiaGive blood (I’m a 10-gallon blood donor. It would be more but blood centers still discriminate against gay people, and I refuse to lie to them, to go back in the closet, in order to donate blood.).
  5. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.
  6. Take a group of neighborhood children some place that’s free. Many of our museums here are free on the first Tuesday of each month.
  7. Since many small businesses are suffering, go to your favorite hair dresser or farmer’s market — or any other business — and ask if they can use your help for an hour. It might just be sweeping the floor, cleaning the windows, or taking out the trash, but you doing that will free up their employees to help their customers.
  8. FuchsiaClean your home and donate things that you haven’t used in six months to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other such organizations.
  9. Have a neighborhood yard sale.
  10. Volunteer with Big Brothers.
  11. Volunteer with Big Sisters.
  12. Volunteer with Boy Scouts.
  13. Volunteer with Girl Scouts.
  14. Write a restaurant review for your local newspaper.
  15. Have a children’s story hour for neighborhood children.
  16. FuchsiaVolunteer at your local library.
  17. Volunteer at your local museum.
  18. Volunteer at your local park.
  19. Volunteer with Special Olympics.
  20. Volunteer with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
  21. Volunteer with the Red Cross.
  22. Volunteer with the American Cancer Society.
  23. Volunteer for an after-school activity.
  24. Write a book review for your local newspaper.
  25. Volunteer at your public television station.
  26. FuchsiaWhatever your area of expertise, offer a seminar on that topic for your neighbors.
  27. Volunteer at an assisted living residence.
  28. Plant a tree — on someone else’s property!
  29. Help a neighbor paint their house.
  30. Help a neighbor spruce up their landscaping.
  31. Volunteer at a Battered Women and Children facility.
  32. Volunteer at an HIV/AIDS facility.
  33. Volunteer at a crisis counseling facility.
  34. Volunteer at a cancer support facility.
  35. FuchsiaVolunteer for Meals on Wheels.
  36. Volunteer for your local disability services.
  37. Volunteer at a substance abuse facility.
  38. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
  39. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
  40. Volunteer at a justice and legal support center.
  41. Volunteer at a community center.
  42. Volunteer at your church.
  43. Volunteer at your school.
  44. Volunteer at a troubled youth support center.
  45. Volunteer at a gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered community center.
  46. FuchsiaVolunteer at a Jewish community center.
  47. Volunteer at a job fair.
  48. Volunteer at your local historical society.
  49. Volunteer at your local police department.
  50. Volunteer at your local fire department.
  51. Volunteer with a political action committee.
  52. Volunteer at a local politician’s office.
  53. Volunteer at your YMCA.
  54. Volunteer at your YWCA.
  55. FuchsiaVolunteer at a day care facility.
  56. Volunteer at an adult day care facility.
  57. Find out who’s the oldest person in your neighborhood. Interview that person about his or her life, type it up, and donate it to your local historical society or library.
  58. Be a tutor for youth in your neighborhood.
  59. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
  60. Volunteer at the court house.
  61. Volunteer with AmeriCorps.
  62. Volunteer at your local community college.
  63. FuchsiaVolunteer with your opera society.
  64. Volunteer with your symphony society.
  65. Volunteer with 4-H.
  66. Volunteer with United Way.
  67. Volunteer at 1-800-Volunteer.org.
  68. Take part in medical research if available in your community.
  69. Volunteer at a mental health facility.
  70. Volunteer with your local fitness council.
  71. Volunteer with your Audubon Society.
  72. FuchsiaVolunteer with Junior Achievement.
  73. Sponsor a high school club or organization.
  74. Volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
  75. Volunteer with American Heart Association.
  76. Volunteer with Path of Life Ministries.
  77. Be a reader for recording books for the blind and dyslexic.
  78. Volunteer at your local blood bank.
  79. Volunteer with Ronald McDonald House.
  80. Volunteer at Planned Parenthood.
  81. FuchsiaTeach a course at your local home improvement store.
  82. Teach a course at your local community college.
  83. Volunteer at your city’s visitor’s bureau.
  84. Volunteer at your local food bank.
  85. Volunteer at a thrift store.
  86. Volunteer with Project C.U.R.E.
  87. Volunteer at your local political party headquarters.
  88. Volunteer with HandsOn.
  89. Volunteer with your local Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
  90. Volunteer with your local animal rescue organization.
  91. FuchsiaCheck out a book from your local library — Many library budgets are based on library usage.
  92. Get a group of four or five people together and go throughout your neighborhood doing minor tasks for home owners.
  93. Volunteer with the ACLU.
  94. Volunteer with your local Better Business Bureau.
  95. Have a game night for the youth in your neighborhood.
  96. Dine out at least once a week, even if it’s just at McDonald’s.
  97. Volunteer with Easter Seals.
  98. Volunteer with Volunteers of America.
  99. Pick a charity and volunteer or donate.
  100. Expand your world by meeting one new person each day. WordPress makes it easy!

FuchsiaSome of those might require you to get out of your comfort zone. That’s their purpose! Especially in communities that appear homogeneous, there are people who feel out of place, and those are the people who turn into the Jimmy Holmeses of the world. By being active in your community, you just might be able to “friend” that person and prevent a lot of death and grief, even though you might never know it.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray (that’s me!)Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos