Leave the lizards at home

Published on: November 22, 2019


I’m pretty sure if I asked you to name your favorite ice cream, you probably wouldn’t have to think very long. What about your favorite restaurant? Again, easy. But what if I asked you who your favorite child is? I know you would say you love them all the same. But, that’s not totally true. You do have that one special kid. We won’t tell his or her brothers and sisters. Promise.

Here’s a tougher question. What is your favorite charity? But more importantly, how did you make that decision? I think it’s important to analyze your choice. You should know to whom or to what you are giving your support…your time … your cash. And as we all know, around the holidays, we tend to give a little more…a little more often. It’s that whole holiday spirit thing.

We need to do a little research to make that all-important decision. To get some help, let’s turn to GuideStar, a website that offers up-to-date information on nonprofit organizations. Here’s what they say you need to do to be able to give with your head as well as your heart. You need to be clear on your own values and see if you can align them with your pick. And you should identify your preferences. What’s important to you? The environment, education, sick children, animal welfare? And where do you want your charity to do its work to best support its goals? Is it in your neighborhood, your state, the country, internationally?

So you’ve done all your homework. If you’ve decided your charity is helping pets looking for their furever homes, I can help you with that. Come on out to the chamber’s first Pet Expo this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church on W. Del Webb Boulevard. Many of our nonprofit organizations need your support to care for and place abandoned pets. Lois Kindle did a great article last week giving you all the details about pet pictures with Santa and the pet blessing. We are adding new vendors every day so come check them out. But we want to let you know Smokeez BBQ will be there when you get hungry.

One housekeeping note: The church has asked that all pets be contained or on leashes, and that no reptiles be admitted. Sherell and I ask the same thing. Any reptiles, and we are outta there….screaming like girls.

I saw a cute cartoon on Facebook about pet rescues. Two black cats are sitting around talking. First one asks, “Is your human a rescue?” The second replies, “Yes, but we’re working on her issues.” They rescue us just as much as we rescue them. Come on out to the Pet Expo, and you may just get rescued yourself.

Lynne Conlan is Executive Director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce. Call her at 813-634-5111, or email