Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Kastiel Kozlowski.
Comfort for Critters was founded by Linda Kastiel Kozlowski, after she adopted a kitten named “Anna” in 2007, and wanted to do something for all the pets which she couldn’t take home that day. Instead of bringing in old towels, as was suggested by the DuPage County Animal Shelter, she asked if she could crochet blankets for the cats and dogs. She never envisioned she was starting on a road which would bring thousands of blankets into shelters across the US.
Now 10 years later Comfort for Critters is a volunteer program that creates free handmade blankets to comfort homeless pets living in animal shelters across the US. We support over 200 shelters, in every US state. Over 53 shelters are supported in Illinois alone.
While these pets await adoption, the blankets provide a comfortable bed year-round.
When they are adopted, their blanket goes with them, providing something familiar as they adjust to their “forever family.” Cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, Fennec foxes and more “critters” are comforted by us!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Most of the volunteers at Comfort for Critters, also work at a “regular” job, have kids to raise and their own pets to care for. So the biggest obstacle has always been “finding time” to do it all!
Despite this challenge we feel we are “called” to comfort these homeless pets, and somehow it always works out. We’ve grown from providing about 100 blankets the first year (2007) to shipping 800+ a month currently. In July 2017 we hit a record of almost 1,200 blankets donated in one month. We’re still not sure how all that happened and how we found the time!
Comfort for Critters – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
What makes Comfort for Critters unique is that volunteers are able to combine their “passions” and change the world, if only for one pet at a time. We are a unique group of animal-lovers and crafters who are passionate about using our craft to provide comfort to others. We stitch love into every blanket and feel they help the pets, the adoptive families, the shelters…and us!
Working on our handmade blankets is truly enjoyable for the volunteers and they really take tremendous pride in their work. Often, they will “picture” a pet, as they create a blanket, and pray that the blanket helps comfort the pet and helps them find a forever family. They know their colorful creations will liven up the shelters and present the pet in the best light possible to a prospective family.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The recent hurricanes hitting Texas, Louisiana and Florida presented Comfort for Critters with an opportunity to help. As we were horrified, watching the news, we were able to “do something” by creating blankets which were immediately shipped to animal shelters taking in pets from the affected areas. We sent hundreds of blankets over 2-3 weeks to these shelters and were proud to be part of the greater community of caring citizens who were helping their fellow man (or woman or pet!).
- Website: www.ComfortForCritters.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comfortforcritters/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ComfortforCritters/
Comfort for Critters