The Definition of Compassion

Compassion is defined as a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering (dictonary.com)

See also: Hayden.

April 14 came like any normal Saturday. The Dumb Friends League Quebec Street Shelter and the pets in our care rose along with the sun. Staff and volunteers arrived early to feed, clean and care for the pets while they waited for the shelter to open, hoping that today would be the day their person would walk in and take them home – forever.

Several people came and went that Saturday, but one stood out, one young lady who surprised us all.

Hayden is a 10-year-old Junior Girl Scout, she is a daughter, and a philanthropist prodigy with a huge heart. This young lady is strong, smart and kind and we feel so lucky that she chose to walk through our shelter doors that mid-April day.

Personal experience sparked Hayden’s giving spirit. After her mother was diagnosed with cancer she learned about the charity Kids Alive Cancer Program and decided to donate a portion of her Girl Scout cookies proceeds to this charity in support of her beloved mom. Driven by this experience, Hayden began to look for other ways to support her community with her own hard-earned money.

Selling 832 boxes of cookies Hayden presented the Dumb Friends League with a generous donation of $104 on April 14. In addition to her generous gift she had also written a letter which she asked to read to one of our homeless pets. Hagrid, a hefty 32-pound cat was the lucky recipient of this private reading and with staff, volunteers and her mother proudly watching, she read her note describing her commitment to supporting our community and spreading awareness for her charities of choice.

To say we were moved is an understatement, with tears in their eyes the Dumb Friends League team applauded this young ladies’ dedication to her family and to helping homeless, abandoned and neglected pets.

Thank you, Hayden, we’re proud to know you and know you’ll continue to shine bright as an ambassador for the Dumb Friends League.

Read her full letter below.