Need a Reason To Believe?

image In people, I mean.  Here’s one.  We just watched a NatGeo Wild episode called “The Lady With 700 Cats.”  Lynea Lattanzio calls herself a crazy cat lady, but she’s no animal hoarder.  She runs a 12-acre sanctuary, no-kill rescue facility and adoption program for cats that might well be the largest of its kind.  She’s devoted 18 years and everything she owns to giving cats a second chance after they’ve been abandoned or surrendered for whatever reason.  It’s a huge undertaking, one that just keeps growing because this woman never turns a needy cat away.  There was a time when Lynea was personally quite well-heeled, but having turned possessions into cash for cat needs and her California property into The Cat House, she often finds herself scrambling for funds, but she says she’s never been happier.  Not that there aren’t setbacks.  She had my granddaughter sobbing over the death of a kitten who’d reached  the sanctuary and its medical services too late.  The program relies on donations and volunteers.


Closer to my home is “Sharing and Caring Hands,” which was started by a woman who regularly volunteered with a Minneapolis organization for helping the poor and decided in 1985 that she could do better on her own.  A master at organizing volunteers, Mary Jo Copeland earned a $2200 stipend from a local television station and started a small storefront operation dedicated to helping the homeless, the poorest of the poor, and those whom she saw “falling through the cracks.”  She has worked tirelessly to build program and its hugely expanded facilities through donations.  While volunteers are still the backbone of “Sharing and Caring Hands” (overhead is less than 8% of the program’s budget) a paid staff with Mary Jo as director run a nationally recognized program that is exactly what its name implies and a source of pride for Minneapolis.


In February of this year, 70-year-old Mary Jo Copeland was awarded the Citizen’s Medal, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors.

There are many ways to give one’s life, and those who actually do it—give their whole lives for the sake of others—give us a gift beyond the needs they seek to fulfill.  They give us reason to believe, as Anne Frank said, “in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

Tell us about someone you admire who champions a worthy cause and makes a difference for others.  I’ll give one randomly selected commenter the e-version of my own REASON TO BELIEVE.

Reason to Believe - screen 

Congratulations to Sandy Bradburry, who won my last drawing, a download of THE LAST GOOD MAN.

Excerpts from many of my books are available on my website.

About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in book giveaway, books, cats, charity, real heroes, homeless shelters. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Need a Reason To Believe?

  1. Teresa Hughes says:

    For many years, like 30, an organization has ran in our town known as Jim’s Kids. This program helps those with mental and physical disabilities. It was started by Jim Bullins who saw so many kids with cerebral palsey, mental retardation, etc. doing without things they needed for a better life. Jim started helping these kids out of his own pocket. Later people started donating money and then fundraising started. Jim helped people in the thousands! He was a great hero to these kids. Unfortunately Jim passed away a few years ago from cancer. But, his wife and children stepped in to take his place. The organization is still going strong!

    • Hoe wonderful that Jim’s legacy lives on. It’s most inspiring when a program gets started by someone who cares so much that he devoted his own talent and treasure to doing what he can.

  2. Kylie Brant says:

    A sanctuary for cats? What a great idea! Last summer when we were in Arkansas we went to a sanctuary for exotic animals, mostly big cats. Wonderful to know they are being cared for.

  3. We have a wild cat sanctuary here in MN that survives on donations and, like “Sharing and Caring Hands,” outgrew its facilities and acreage a few years ago but found the resources to move and expand. Passing laws that regulate the ownership and care of wild animals has been an uphill battle here because hunters and farmers are wary of regulations regarding animals. Pet regulations vary from city to city, county to county. When I visited with the director of the Wild Cat Sanctuary years ago I learned that, at least at that time, people can keep wild cats in a cage as long as it’s big enough for them to turn around in. Domestic dogs and cats have much better legal protection and owners are held accountable.

  4. zippykim314 says:

    I think Juanita Clay of Loving Hands charity. She helps with all the school supplies to help over 100 kids when they start back to school and also sees that over 100 kids gets at least 3 gifts each at Christmas time. She also helps throughout the year donating her time and facility to these children so they have a place to go after school to so homework and get a snack! This is wonderful to show that there are loving people in this world’

    • Helping school children is so important. Too many parents are unemployed or working long hours, sometimes more than one job, for low wages and can’t make ends meet. Supplies, gifts, activities, all those things end up on the “if” list. If there’s money left over. But they’re also things that make a big difference to a child. Sounds like Juanita Clay is making that difference, and that’s inspiring to me.

  5. I admire the people at the Human Kindness Foundation. Founders, Bo and Sita Lozoff run a prison ministry. They run on as little expense as possible so that they can distribute the book that Bo wrote – We’re All Doing Time – free of charge to prisoners. The book is written as a guide to help prisoners rehabilitate themselves.
    They also answer prisoners letters and provide other services.
    When I went to look them up to make sure their names were spelled right, I found that Bo died in 2012. What a sad loss for the world.

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