Homeless dogs (and other animals) have been a lot warmer since Eileen Smulson founded Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) in 2008. The nonprofit gives away blankets, towels, and a whole lot more to hundreds of shelters and rescues every year.
OBOL’s mission is to improve the well-being of homeless animals and increase their chances for survival and adoption, with the goal of eliminating animal homelessness. To this end, the organization donates recycled and new comfort items to animals who live on the streets with homeless people, or dogs and cats in shelters, rescues, or sanctuaries.
As the weather gets colder, we can fully appreciate the value of something warm and cozy to snuggle up in. Eileen’s heart was opened wide to the plight of homeless animals after adopting her beloved Ginger, a terrier-poodle mix rescue. She imagined Ginger on a cold, cement floor without a blanket and knew she had to do something for the animals still without homes.
Eileen began a grassroots effort to gather blankets and towels for her local shelter in California. She was so successful that the enterprise snowballed from there. Eight years later, OBOL has 65 drop-off locations and delivers helpful items to more than 650 rescues and shelters throughout the state.
Blankets are not only used when it’s cold outside; they are used every day for comfort. The shelter dogs and cats become more relaxed, happier, and secure when they are comfy! This increases their chances of being adopted.
Help at Hand
Part of the No-Kill shelter movement, the organization also provides education and advocacy, animal transport, and emergency response services. Stray, sick, neglected, owner-dumped, pets of the homeless, and abused animals all benefit from OBOL’s assistance.
Eileen knows the value of media. She and OBOL have been successful in using the media to tell their story through all the major television networks and dozens of radio shows. Magazine, newspaper, and online articles have been plentiful, giving voice to all the animals who need human advocates. OBOL makes visible what the general public might prefer not to see.
The Value of One
One person started this. One person whose heart was moved by what she witnessed.
People can make a difference.
YOU can make a difference.
- Donate a blanket to your local shelter.
- Find out the many ways to help OBOL.
- Find out about Humane Education efforts.
- Organize your own community fundraising or blanket drives.
- Start your own nonprofit!
Do one small thing – or think big. But always love big.
For a general listing of organizations that help animals in a variety of ways with financial and other needs, go here.