Friday, December 9, 2016

CAAWS Party - History Lesson from WWII Poland

Yesterday I was on the road all day.  Jay sent two people to work on the trim, since they can't paint until the trim gets finished.  One guy went home early as he was sick.  And Frank told me he went inside at one point and found the other guy sleeping. I was incensed.  Even if it is your lunch break, you don't sleep in a customer's house!  

I spent all day thinking of what I was going to say to Jay.  

At the party last night I was telling someone about the guy sleeping in the house.  Frank starts laughing!  He said, I told you the guy was sweeping, not sleeping!  Now I am glad I was too busy to call Jay!

We had the CAAWS Volunteer Appreciation Party last night.  I work with two other amazing woman and we put this party on for the volunteers.  Charles brings raffle items and we honor CAAWS Community Partners.  This year we had two Community Partner honorees.  I am going to post my presentations for you to see, since I am so proud that we have people such as these to help us make the lives of animals.

Here is the first one. remember I wrote this to deliver orally.

Mr. Starnes and I met in an interesting and unbelievable situation.

He works for the Tax Division of the one of the best places to work in Baton Rouge, Postlewaite Nettterville. He was handling the estate of his friends Ted and Anna Anthos.

But first let me tell you about the Anthos and offer you a bit of history. And let me tell you why it is so important to be nice to the people who come through our doors as potential adopters.

Ted was born in Poland in 1924. During WWII the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany occupied Poland. Germany used the Blitzkrieg to bomb the people into submission. Food as confiscated from the people by the German Army so many Poles starved to death. Polish Jews were sent to concentration death camps and died. The Soviets destroyed industrial goods and machinery. Over 5.7 million Polish citizens died.

Ted was 15 when the Soviets took his family. Through the Polish Resistance Movement known as the Home Army, he organized a group of young men to work in clandestine activities against the invaders. He was captured and sent to a Russian Prison Camp for 2 years. This man was a leader and a survivor.

Anna's father was a Colonel in the Polish Army. He was able to escape to England with his family. After his release from the Prison Camp, Ted was able to find his parents in Siberia and bring them to England. He and Anna met and married.

After the war, he became a chemical engineer for Stouffer Chemicals. He came to Baton Rouge to build a plant and fell in love with the city. Anna got degrees in French from LSU.

Ted and Anna had no children so like many of us, their animals became their children. Upon their deaths, they left their legacy to CAAWS. Part of which you keep tripping over in the dog room, the huge dog wash that will be part of our Building Remodel.

Back to Mr. Starnes.

Mr Starnes contacted me with the wonderful news that we were one of the entities that had been left this amazing gift by the Anthos. He has worked with me in the months since. He has had unbelievable patience, initially working to convince me this was not a prank and then through the flood when I lost all my documentation, paperwork along with everything else I owned.

The CAAWS board wanted to honor Mr Starnes with this Community Partner Award because of the impact his work will have on our future. I am still in awe of the generosity of his friends, the Anthos. It is like a dream come true for me as President, to be able to bring these changes to CAAWS, not only to remodel our building but to fund Spay/Neuter Programs for years to come and to expand the Low income Vet Assistance Programs.

I am so grateful to carry on the future of this mission we have given ourselves to help animals. Through the Anthos, Mr. Starnes was able to help us make or dreams come true. Without your help, I have no idea how I would have navigated this process. The Anthos were truly kind and generous people. As recipients, we have an obligation to steward the use of this gift.

You never know who will walk through our doors because they have fallen in love with a face on the internet, or because we have helped them in the past with a spay coupon. It is so important to treat people with kindness and respect. Like the Anthos. You want them to love our organization as we do.

You just never know.

I am proud to offer the Community Partner Award to Mr. Ed Starnes.


  1. SO SO SO true -- kindness and respect are SO important.

  2. Wow you have absolutely the best news here for CAAWS and it is true, you never know to whom you are talking. Reminds me of a man I met in Houston who was wearing overalls and boots that he had been working in and were smelly and not in a nice way. I was polite but not welcoming as he put his hand out and introduced himself. He and my dad conversed and when the man left my dad turned and said that the man was a very wealthy man who believed in working hard and treating everyone fairly. That day he had been working on the ranch with the hands cleaning up a pasture full of manure, because it had to be done. A lesson that I didn't learn well enough because there are still things I cringe at doing and times when I think someone else should do things I don't want to. These people saw a need and they gave to your organization and their friend takes this desire to heart and works with you to realize their dream.

  3. What a story for CAAWS. Mr. Starns sounds like the kind of man who just knows how to get things done and is not afraid to rolls his sleeves up. You have the absolutely perfect attitude toward others; there's no way of telling how important an encounter might be to someone else.

  4. Goodness, your life is one big adventure (not that you needed an adventure like this one). No wonder. you are never at a loss for something to blog about. LOL. I just lead a plain old boring life.


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