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She’s 17 going on forever with the kind of compassion that brings goosebumps. With a soft tone and measured words that let you know she cares deeply.

Her email mentioned her #EagleScoutProject and a pet food drive to help those in need. She asked about bringing pet food to The Pongo Fund and of course we said yes. We work with a lot of #BSA Scouts and we were looking forward to working with Isabella too.

But my oh my, her email did not compare to her visit. For what she did spoke far louder than her words. And in the most gracious way.

With her Mom as co-pilot, they arrived with a trunk bursting with the kind of pet food drive success that told us this was a very serious project. More than 400 pounds overall. But what they brought to The Pongo Fund was only part of it.

Because before coming to us, they also stopped at several local homeless shelters and personally distributed pet food to those who needed it most.

I’ve been in those homeless shelters too. Meeting people where they are is deeply rewarding. But it’s also not easy. Yet Isabella did it with love.

I asked her about it, how it felt to be there, to see things she could not forget. I know of what I speak because I’ve been there too. Many people drop things off. To stay and visit, to become one with those you help, that’s not easy. Yet that’s exactly what Isabella did.

She did not just give out food. She shared compassion with each person and pet she met.

As Jane Goodall said, “We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place.” And championing those words into action, is exactly what Isabella did.

Thank you Isabella and #Troop351, for being the compassionate people that you are. And for making the community a better place.

Please feel free to leave a comment below for Isabella, as our words today will help carry her forward to more good deeds.

Being a helper.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live.

The Pongo Fund / Portland, Oregon