When Norma Fries retired in the summer of 2010, everyone wanted to know what she would do next. “Work on my art and volunteer at an animal shelter,” Norma replied. With the help of capable researchers, her former IBM colleagues, she discovered Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV), an area organization going above and beyond what a typical shelter was expected to do. That’s when she visited and decided to get involved.
The Gift of Neighborhood Adoption Centers
After spending some time as a volunteer at HSSV, Norma realized that the only way the shelter could continue its incredible work was for people like her to become donors. “My spouse, Rita Lane, and I decided we would give to help HSSV expand its innovative programs,” Norma said. “We absolutely know that HSSV is an excellent steward of our money, which is extremely important to us.”
In particular, Norma and Rita wanted their funds to support HSSV’s Neighborhood Adoptions Centers (NACs). “We are particularly pleased that HSSV has expanded its reach into the community with Neighborhood Adoption Centers,” Norma shared. “Doing so creates direct awareness about homeless animals to people already shopping for animal-related purchases. HSSV has been very successful in adding to its already impressive ‘save’ statistics by increasing adoptions through these NACs.”
Healing Animal Homelessness at its Source
When asked what about Humane Society Silicon Valley made the most meaningful impression on Norma, she replied, “I can’t name just one thing, but I can name a single umbrella concept. That concept is this: While working on the root cause of animal homelessness and finding them homes, HSSV’s approach makes it a leading organization in the sheltering community. HSSV is a pioneer in addressing the root cause of animal homelessness through their education of children, their PUP (Prevent Unwanted Pregnancies) program, geographic targeted spay/neuter programs and bringing community awareness to the fact that pet adoption is not just about rescuing an animal, it’s about mutual rescue. They are helping families keep their pets and showing the way to other shelters. ”
Finally, Norma expressed another aspect of volunteering with HSSV that stood out to her: “One last thing I will mention is something that is not measurable. In all my dealings with HSSV, everyone has shown a palpable excitement over the work they are doing. That alone makes it worth being there.”
Norma Fries and Rita Lane live in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose, CA and continue to be proud supporters of Humane Society Silicon Valley and their lifesaving programs. Norma also serves on HSSV’s Volunteer Advisory Committee.
Rita (left) and Norma (right) with their dog, Baxter, and cat, Hoshi.
Norma's lovely kitties, Hoshi (left) and Hava (right).