There is a local animal sanctuary that I have been supporting for a few years--in time, by promoting their sanctuary (which they had even thanked me in the past) and in donations. Recently, I was treated rudely and coldly by them.
This incident reminded me that it's best not to put so much love and trust in places (and people) that you really don't know personally. Similar to the Lance Armstrong/doping issue, it's human nature to want to think of certain people and organizations as some kind of wonderful (as in the title of the song) and to be respected but unless you have a personal rapport with them, you really don't know them. And to invest so much time supporting them to find out their true colors can be heartbreaking as well as an eye-opener.
With the sanctuary, I felt hurt and disappointed, but now I feel relieved and even thankful for this experience. I am relieved that I now know how they truly are and I thank this sanctuary for inspiring me to fund my own animal ministry!
I plan on setting aside money that I make, plus any money I receive, specifically for using to help animals in providing their needs (like spaying, neutering, food, clothing, books to help educate the animal guardians in need, etc.). I've heard of other individual animal lovers doing the same thing.
I haven't figured out all the details yet, but in this way, I will not make the mistake again of giving my time and money to a place that is undeserving; plus, I'll be cutting out the "middle man" and simply giving my time and money raised directly to the animals and guardians of animals in need.
No wonder why some people set up their own non-profit organizations; they probably felt as frustrated as I am as to who has integrity to trust.