When it comes to stellar volunteers, you don’t have to look much further than Phinney’s Director Starr Maxwell. A gardener, avid hiker, chef and animal lover, Starr has been donating her time for over two decades. And during that time, she’s helped a lot of people keep their furry friends close by.
Starr first started volunteering when Phinney’s was an extension program of the MSPCA. As a devoted animal lover, and dog mom herself, helping strangers keep their pets was what truly drew her to the program. Her first client, a blind man with HIV, needed assistance keeping his dog with him throughout his treatment, and Starr was more than willing to help make that happen. The experience allowed her to connect with a new community of people, and although a little scary, her compassion and desire to help was what truly shined and helped her continue on.
Being involved with an organization for as long as she has is sure to bring up some great memories. Her favorite part about volunteering with Phinney’s Friends? Getting to directly interact with the clients and their pets. She loves that she gets the opportunity to both meet new people and keep animals safe, happy and most importantly, out of shelters.
When she’s not volunteering with Phinney’s Starr enjoys spending time at home with her two dogs. Tristan, a 12-year-old Cavelier King Charles Spaniel, is a retired therapy dog for Pets and People Foundation with over 300 visits to nursing homes and other venues to offer people comfort. I guess you can say that helping others runs in the family! Her other pooch, Siri, is a 3-year-old terrier mix rescued from an illegal puppy mill by the MSPCA. For her troubled past, her silly, friendly, active demeanor shows how much of a warm, comforting home Starr has made for her.
It’s because of loving and dedicated volunteers like Starr that Phinney’s is able to do what we do and keep people and their pets together. We’re thankful and grateful to all of those who donate their time to help others in need!
Hope you are enjoying winter outside with your dogs, snuggling by the fire with your cats, and enjoying all your pets from the warmth of your home.
After a very successful holiday festival, which brought $15,000 in revenue to help people and pets in need, we are gearing up for more. We celebrate our victories but do not rest! 2019 is here for us to conquer. :)
We have recently welcomed Alyssa Cohen to the Board of Directors to spruce up our fundraisings. And if you saw the Food Room at the festival, you know what she is capable of. Wasn’t it beautifully decorated? And she brought many colorful treats to add to the delicious sweets our volunteers baked and brought.
While we are developing new fundraising programs and events, remember you can also help by doing your own fundraiser to benefit Phinney’s. A simple idea can go a long way!
If your birthday or wedding is coming up, you could ask for donations to the nonprofit in lieu of gifts, or you can even create a campaign on Facebook for your birthday and watch the donations pour in.
Attending our events and bringing your friends is also great to spread the word about what we do. I hope you can come to the fabulous historic Strand Theater in Clinton MA for a one-off screening of a movie in March to benefit Phinney’s. (You can read all about it below.) We’d love to see you!
Phinney’s Friends President
By Daniela Caride
I remember when I first saw a sign at Carol’s apartment door while on my way to the elevator after visiting a longtime Phinney’s client at a low-income housing complex in Boston. It said something like “Please keep the door shut. Keep my cat safe.” I was so moved by her resolve to properly care for her cat (then Smokey) and not have him roaming the hallways unattended.
I slipped a Phinney’s card under her door with a note that maybe we could help her financially. That was the beginning of a wonderful relationship. We prolonged Smokey’s life by years, as he soon needed to have a cancerous eye removed. He was a happy, loving cat to Carol up until the very end. And when he passed away, Carol became very lonely.
We tried placing another Phinney’s cat with her, but he was terribly afraid of the wheelchair, so we moved him to another home. When Jasmine was having a hard time at home, being bullied by her kitty brother at the home of yet another Phinney’s client, we offered to rehome her with Carol.
The arrangement worked perfectly. Carol took her in with open arms, Jasmine was OK with the wheelchair and became very attached to Carol. She is so comfortable now that she even gained a few extra pounds. According to the vet, whom she visited a couple of weeks ago, she is still on the chubby side and in need of some more dieting.
You wouldn’t expect a cat with her history to be so calm, but her confidence is apparent at her vet check-ups, where she snuggles up to one of Carol’s towels, relaxed as ever. Thankfully, through Phinney‘s, Jasmine is able to keep up with her regular vet appointments and continue to keep Carol company.
We are so excited to announce a special screening of the movie Life in the Doghouse on March 24th at the Strand Theater in Clinton MA. The screening is free and donations will be accepted on-site to support Phinney’s!
The movie screening is being sponsored by Maureen Harmonay of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Bolton as a gift to Phinney’s Friends and to the Community.
March 24, 2019
The Strand Theatre
58 High Street, Clinton, MA 01510
Doors open at 1 p.m.
Movie screening starts at 2 p.m.
ABOUT THE MOVIE LIFE IN THE DOGHOUSE
Life in the Doghouse tells the inspiring life story of Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta, who, through their remarkable work at Danny and Ron’s Rescue, have saved more than 10,000 dogs. Heralded by the Boston Globe as “heartwarming and thought-provoking,” this amazing movie is one you don’t want to miss! http://lifeinthedoghousemovie.com/trailer.html
PLEASE RSVP BY MARCH 17, 2019
If you are planning on attending (and we hope you are!), please RSVP by March 17 to Judy Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Phinney’s is grateful to Maureen Harmonay for sponsoring what is sure to be a fun and memorable event!
We hope to see you there, supporting Phinney’s and enjoying this wonderful movie. Thank you!
Phew! Thanks to wonderful supporters in Lincoln Massachusetts, Phinney’s has been able to purchase and donate two more pet oxygen mask kits to the fire department, one for an ambulance and one for an engine truck. Now all the town’s emergency vehicles in the Fire Station are equipped with oxygen masks for pets.
Although we don’t have official numbers by the U.S. Fire Administration, industry and sources estimate 40,000 to 150,000 pets die each year in fires, most succumbing to smoke inhalation.
“If we ever have any fires in Lincoln and pets are rescued, the firefighters will be able to help them with oxygen masks that actually fit their snouts and give them a higher chance of survival,” says Daniela Caride, president of Phinney’s. “Pets are often more vulnerable to smoke inhalation in fires because they hide, and human oxygen masks don’t fit properly on animals.”
Phinney’s is so happy to be able to provide safer measures for all pets in the town of Lincoln, where the nonprofit is based. Hopefully, we will be able to extend this program to many other towns nearby in the near future. And maybe, who knows, far and wide as well.