On Friday, April 22, 2022, Sunrise Humane Society hosted an event at our facility at 100 Savannah Rd. in Fort Pierce, Florida to pause, reflect on, and celebrate its first year of operation.
The large oak tree on the west side of the grounds was tenderly wrapped with fabric, streamers, and balloons of blue, yellow, white, and green. The morning dawned warm and bright, without any threat of the thunderstorms forecasters had predicted.
About 30 volunteers, board members, Fort Pierce city officials, and staff members gathered beneath the shad of the oak tree. In their hands they held cards printed with pictures and bios of animals currently being cared for at the shelter. Even members of the Port St. Lucie Sheriff Department attended with a couple of their K-9 units.
Pastor Mallow of the Church of the Nazarene led the Blessing of the Animals, with themes of stewardship, and new beginnings. Others got up to share poems, prayers, and gratitude for all the efforts put in over the last year and the years to come.
More than one tear was shed as the group reflected on the almost 2000 animals who had passed through the doors of this shelter, which had stood empty for nearly two years prior to Sunrise Humane Society stepping up to the plate to serve the community. Where would those animals be now if Sunrise didn't come to exist? If the staff, volunteers, city partners, and community hadn't joined together to serve Fort Pierce?
Fortunately, we can count the lives saved, and the new beginnings that those animals now have.
Following the service, the group mingled, shared stories and wishes, and snacked on the light food and beverages provided.
While this is a huge milestone in our organization, our work is far from over. Year 1 held unique challenges for us: building our team and operations during a pandemic, overcoming our building's past and communicating its new beginning, and letting people know that we are here.
We hope you'll join us in our second year and make it even better than the first! Thank you for your support, and consider becoming a regular donor or volunteer to help us in our mission to serve the animals of the Greater Fort Pierce area.