Hill County Paw Pals, Hill County, Texas

Grassroots Movement—Foundation of Paw Pals’ Success

Hill County Paw Pals proudly continues as a grassroots movement that grows larger and stronger as time goes on.  The origin of the word “grassroots” is as far back in our history as the 1800’s when the phrase “getting to the grassroots” referred to looking at the underlying principles to effectively understand and respond to a situation.  Beneath the blades of grass are the roots that keep it alive and sustain it, thus looking at the grass roots meant looking at the sustaining force to gain understanding.  During the Black Hills gold rush, settlers spoke of gold being everywhere, even in the grassroots.  Over time, grassroots movements were rightly associated with social change that began with the common citizen that had a deep sense of doing the right thing for the community.  These everyday citizens that sustain the community demonstrate an attitude of unrestrained enthusiasm and willingness to work for needed change.  This strong force stemming from the will of the people cannot be managed by hierarchal chains of command but succeeds from the strength and commitment of each involved individual—this may be the most important fact to understand about grassroots activism.  The momentum relies exclusively on the self initiative of concerned citizens.  As grassroots organizations expand, their growth becomes exponential as networks form between the involved citizens who inspire and encourage other citizens toward involvement in community improvement.

Paw Pals has most certainly found gold in the grassroots individuals that support enhancing the lives of our companion animals and fellow citizens.  From a few concerned citizens we have grown to be able to boast the following accomplishments:  Introduction of Low-Cost Pet Sterilization and Vaccination Clinic where over 2,100 pets have been spayed or neutered and over 6,000 rabies vaccinations administered, Annual County-wide Garage Sales ($60,000 cumulative profit), Annual Waggin Trail Bike Ride ($12,000 gross profit), Memorial and Honor Program ($4,500 donations), Cans for Paw Pals Program ($3,200), Hey Buddy Can You Spare a Dime Program ($4,000), Hill County Jury Donation Program ($1,300), Inaugural 2010 Annual Pet Calendar (potential $10,000), an educational website, an adoption program with its ever growing network, and area newspapers supportive of our cause.  Paw Pals now has $400,000 to dedicate towards the building of an animal shelter, and this awesome success cannot be attributed to any one individual, but to all the citizens representing the gold in the grassroots of this community. 

The most rewarding aspect of Paw Pals’ growth has to be the evolvement of youth leadership realizing the need to correct pet overpopulation and better our community.  Hillsboro Jr. High School Wee-Paws Club and Whitney High School Paw Pals Club have formed to support Hill County Paw Pals. 

Many areas of this great nation have corrected pet overpopulation simply by making proactive decisions to bring about corrective solutions.  No doubt many of these communities’ solutions began with concerned citizens much like ours who formed grassroots organizations to bring about needed change.  The monumental growth and success of Hill County Paw Pals lays in the wealth of the spirit of the grassroots people in this community that have given freely of their time, their talents, and their resources to bring about change.  As Margaret Mead so aptly stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

For more information about Hill County Paw Pals, please call (254) 580-0679, or email hcpawpals@yahoo.com.






This article was distributed to Paw Pals’ vast email network and area newspapers on August 19, 2009