Takin’ Care of Business 11-16-2023

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Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

November 17, 2023

‘Senior Pets Rock’ Adoption Special at Woods

Some “oldies” never go out of style—and that includes older pets. In honor of National Adopt a Senior Pet Month in November, Woods Humane Society is promoting all of the timeless qualities of senior pets and waiving their adoption fees with their “Senior Pets Rock” promotion. The adoption special applies to dogs and cats ages 7+, but does not include dog license fees.

“When there are young puppies and kittens to adopt, it can be easy to overlook senior pets. However, this month, we want to remind potential adopters of all of the great reasons to consider an older, wiser companion,” says Woods CEO Emily L’Heureux. “Like one of our favorite classic rock tunes says, these animals have ‘hearts of gold’ and can bring so much enjoyment to a family.”

Woods says it currently has nine senior dogs and cats available for adoption (overall seniors make up about 8% of Woods’ pet population) and the shelter length of stay for these senior pets can be two- to three-times longer than that of younger animals.

“Unfortunately, senior pets, who are more accustomed to the comforts of a home and less suited to the stressors of a shelter environment, often spend the longest amount of time in the shelter,” explains L’Heureux. “Ironically, due to the fact that they are often already trained and have lower exercise requirements, these animals are among the most highly adoptable and can make the process of caring for a new pet much easier on new adopters.”

To view all of the currently available senior pets at Woods, go to  www.WoodsHumane.org/adopt or visit in person during daily public hours from 12-5 p.m. (adoption hours are from 12-4 p.m.). For more information about Woods, visit www.WoodsHumane.org or call (805) 543-9316. Woods Humane Society is located at 875 Oklahoma Ave., San Luis Obispo and at 2300 Ramona Rd., Atascadero.

Library Coat Drive Ends Nov. 18

The weather is turning colder and will likely continue to throughout the winter months. A selection of county libraries, in partnership with Transition Mental Health Association, are holding a coat drive to help others keep warmer this season.

Warm your heart while helping others with a donated new or gently used adult-sized coats, hats, gloves, and sleeping bags (and anything warm!) at the participating libraries listed below through November 18: 

• Arroyo Grande Library

• Atascadero Library

• San Luis Obispo Library

• Los Osos Library

• Morro Bay Library

Be a Santa to a Local Senior Program

As the festivities of the holiday season begin, Home Instead encourages San Luis Obispo residents to participate in the Be a Santa to a Senior program and share joy by giving a gift to older adults in the community who may not have anyone to celebrate with. Local businesses hosts the trees to help spread cheer. 

“The holidays can be hard for many older adults, especially those who may not have a companion to share them with,” said Matt Galbraith, owner of the San Luis Obispo Home Instead office. “Through Be a Santa to a Senior, we can help these seniors experience the happiness and togetherness the season can bring.” 

To participate, shoppers can look for Be a Santa to a Senior trees or displays at locations around the area. Ornaments featuring the name and desired gift of an older adult will be on display, and shoppers can buy the requested gift and return it in a gift bag to the location with the ornament attached by December 8. The gifts will be delivered to local older adults in time for the holidays.  

Be a Santa to a Senior trees can be found at the following locations:  

• Carlock’s Bakery, 1024 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos           

• Movement for Life Physical Therapy, 890 Shasta Ave, Morro Bay           

• SLO Smiles, 878 Walnut St, San Luis Obispo    

• SloDoCo Donuts, 195 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo        

• SloDoCo Donuts, 6917 El Camino Real, STE E, Atascadero         

• Tribe Coffeehouse, 1355 E Grand Ave, Arroyo Grande

“Gifts aside, the true value comes in the connection Be a Santa to a Senior makes between the community and our older neighbors,” said Galbraith.   

As a franchise network, Home Instead is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Be a Santa to a Senior® program. Over that time the program has engaged more than 65,000 volunteers, provided more than 2.2 million gifts, and shared the holiday spirit with about 800,000 older adults nationwide.   

For more information, BeaSantatoaSenior.com or call 805-473-5781.  

SLO Food Bank Names New CEO

The SLO Food Bank has a new leader at the helm. Molly Kern is the new chief executive officer (CEO) She will replace Garret Olson in the position at the end of this year. 

Since 2022, Kern served as the Chief Operating Officer following a nearly decade-long experience in key positions with the SLO Chamber of Commerce.  

According to outgoing CEO Garret Olson, “In a relatively short timeframe, Molly has been the architect of significant change at the SLO Food Bank, including her leadership during the development of our newly adopted five-year strategic plan. The timing for passing the baton of leadership is ideal for our mission and our current momentum, and Molly is uniquely poised and skilled to take our organization to even greater heights.”  

Following a 30-year career in the fire service, Olson joined the SLO Food Bank at the start of the pandemic, initially in a temporary emergency manager position. The organization was without a CEO at the time, and in May 2020, the board selected Olson to fill the roll.  

The process and decision incorporated input from the board, managers within the SLO Food Bank organization, and donors. 

“This process has confirmed three things for me,” said Ryan Caldwell, board chair and CEO of Wacker Wealth Partners. “First, Garret Olson has led the organization to an impressive level of cultural and financial health. Second, the entire SLO Food Bank team is incredibly competent and passionate. And third, Molly Kern is absolutely the right person to lead the organization into the future.”

Caldwell, Olson, and Kern agreed that the most important aspect of this transition is an uninterrupted continuation of their hunger relief mission.

“This is a significant and exciting transition for our team,” said Olson, “but for over 31,500 SLO County residents who rely on our vital mission each month, our commitment and driving focus continues to be on the reach and impact of our service. That is exactly how we are proceeding, without skipping a beat.”  

Following the busy upcoming holiday season, Kern looks forward to connecting with SLO County leaders, partners, and clients to provide updates on the organization’s operations and a vision of future operations as captured in their new strategic plan. 

Said Kern, “While food insecurity in SLO County is significant and growing, our organization has never been more ready to serve. Guided by a strategic plan that is anchored in our client’s daily realities, we are poised to provide greater nutrition, enhanced health, and compassion to the neighbors we serve. 

“Throughout the history of the SLO Food Bank, we have been a place for nourishment, both for our neighbors experiencing food insecurity and for those looking to give back. It’s hard to imagine a more rewarding role than one focused on our mission of alleviating hunger and building a healthier community, particularly as someone born and raised in SLO County.”  

Adopt a Fuzzy Friend

The Feline Network has many cats and kittens available for adoption and will hold an Adopt a Kitten Event on Saturday November 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at PetSmart in San Luis Obispo.

Cats and kittens are spayed/neutered, tested, microchipped and vaccinated prior to adoption. The adoption fee is $100 for one or $150 for two. A free vet examination is included.

We are still “swimming in kittens!” said volunteer, Elaine Genasci.*Our foster homes still have so many sweet and adorable kittens for adoption.

We offer a discount on two because having a pair of kitties is much more entertaining than a single cat.”

The Feline Network is a non-profit humane organization established to reduce cat overpopulation through spaying/neutering and public education and to rescue homeless cats and kittens and place them in permanent homes.

The Feline Network is an all-volunteer organization that works with local veterinarians who generously donate their time and provide medical services at discounted fees.

For information on adoptions, low-cost spay/neuter, help with feral cats or to volunteer or donate, please contact us at 805-550-9064 OR (549-9CAT) or online at www.felinenetwork.org.

Are you or a neighbor Taking Care of Business. Is your business, including non-profits, supporting our community? Maybe you’re launching a new business, or you’re making updates to your current business model, or re-opening. Perhaps you have a job opportunity, or have been doing some volunteer work, or are collaborating with another business or a non-profit. Or maybe you know someone who is. Submit your awesome local efforts for publication to Editor@EsteroBayNews.com.

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