Operation Blankets of Love animal helps earthquake and wildfire victims

East Valley Animal Shelter

This story first appeared on Examiner.com

When it disasters like the weekend 6.0 earthquake hit near Napa, CA, or wildfires making people become homeless and can’t afford to feed their animals, Operation Blankets of Love comes to their rescue.

Nonstop, 24/7 from volunteer animal rescuers to scores of animal shelters in California; all rely on supplies donated by pet stores, animal food warehouses and the general community. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I get calls from Napa Valley, CA after the disastrous Earthquake over the weekend,” said Eileen Smulson, founder of Operation Blankets of Love, a grassroots, community-driven nonprofit welfare organization founded in 2008.East Valley Animal Shelter

The Sunday morning quake that sent 200 people to the hospital, two critically, also rattled a few nerves on the weekend (8/23/14) tour of the East Valley Animal Shelter, Van Nuys, CA.

“If we have a major earthquake that damages our shelter that’s when we’d bring in mobile animal shelters,” said Director Felder, Los Angeles Animal Services. “We have other facilities we can move animals to such as Pierce College for example.” German Sepherds

The tour was part of an Open House over the weekend for Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL). About 50-75 people packed into an open house, where Founder Smulson outlined many of the services offered.

“When the animals are brought in they sit in a concrete kennel, where they’re scare and the start shaking or become tense,” explained Felder, who led the tour. “All it takes is a warm comfortable blanket where an animal can lay on it, hide in and make them more appealing and adoptable,” she said. East Animal Shelter Van Nuys open house with Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL)

Operation Blankets of Love with founder trying to save her own betters.

Operation Blankets of Love with founder trying to save her own betters.

Smulson voiced concerns the dog was lying on a cold, cement floor. The Shelter explained that they lacked money to buy much-needed blankets, towels, pet beds, leashes/collars, carriers, toys, dog houses and dog treats. Smulson started 20+ drop-off locations and collected more than 3,000 items in several months, which is how OBOL was born.

To date there are 75+ community access drop-off sites. OBOL has collected more than 1.75 million animal comfort and care products valued at more than $3.5 million.

The East Valley center are under the shade trigo hit.

The East Valley center are under the shade trigo hit.

“We’re one-of-a-kind in the nation,” Smulson told the crowd gathered for a tour of the East Valley Animal Shelter. “We rescue the animal rescuers fulfilling the constant need of animal shelters and comfort and care items that are not covered by their general budgets. We hope other volunteers and nonprofits copy us across the country, she said. https://www.facebook.com/OperationBlanketsOfLove

OBOL uses social networking to reach and mobilize people of all ages, backgrounds and economic levels to donate animal comfort/care items. Hundreds of homeless people with pets, 35 animal shelters, 450+ animal rescue groups, 100+ foster homes, two farm rescues and two wildlife sanctuaries have benefited. If you would like to volunteer visit: http://OperationBlanketsofLove.org or call 818-402-6586.

Actor Keanu Reeves to produce and star in TV show ‘ RAIN’

Keanu Reeves at International Film Festival Holt Renfrew during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festivalon in Toronto, Canada last year.

Keanu Reeves  getting on the red carpet at International Film Festival in Toronto last year. (courtesy Huffington Post, Sept. 20130

Slingshot Global Media announced today that Keanu Reeves is attached to executive produce and star in the television series, Rain, based on the New York Times best-selling book series written by Barry Eisler.  Chad Stahelski and David Leitch will produce alongside Eisler.  Slingshot Global Media will executive produce and distribute the show.

“We are extremely excited to be working on a beloved property with such a talented and hard-working actor as Keanu,” said Ellender.   “This series will be the launch pad for the company and highlight our talent-focused, quality-based approach within the ever-changing and expanding television space.”

The show fits well within the new company’s objective of working closely with talent to develop series and limited-run programming for both traditional broadcast and cable networks, in addition to on demand options and premium pay services.

The show will be a globe-trotting action drama featuring the lead character, “John Rain,” a half-Japanese, half-American contract assassin who specializes in taking out his targets by making it look like death by natural causes.  An outsider in whatever world he’s in, Rain ironically finds that the one identity he knows – that of being a hitman – is the very thing that prevents him from bringing others closer into his life. 

The show’s source material will be based on Eisler’s series of novels featuring Rain, including A Clean Kill in Tokyo, A Lonely Resurrection, Winner Take All, Redemption Games, Extremis, The Killer Ascendant, The Detachment, and Graveyard of Memories

Reeves broke out as an actor with notable roles in films such as Dangerous Liaisons, Parenthood, Point Break, and Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho, opposite River Phoenix.  He first gained mainstream attention playing the role of “Ted Logan” in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which became a cultural phenomenon.  He later went on to become an action star with the box office hit Speed, in addition to the Matrix franchise. 

Reeves’ career choices over the next two decades proved his versatility as an actor, with films such as The Devil’s Advocate, Much Ado About Nothing, A Walk in the Clouds,Constantine, The Lake House, A Scanner Darkly, and Something’s Gotta Give.  Most recently, Reeves made his directorial debut with the critically well-received Man of Tai Chi.  He also stars in the upcoming John Wick, directed by Stahelski and Leitch. 

Rain will be Reeves’ first major starring and producing role in a television series, and Slingshot’s first officially announced project since the company formed in February.  The show fits well within the new company’s objective of working closely with talent to develop series and limited-run programming for both traditional broadcast and cable networks, in addition to on demand options and premium pay services.

“As a huge fan of Barry’s work, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his iconic character and incredible world to life,” said Reeves.  “I’m looking forward to partnering with Slingshot on my first series, and reteaming with Chad and David.”

For media interviews contact:
Brooke Blumberg / Chantal Artur
Sunshine Sachs
(323) 822-9300

About Slingshot Global Media

Slingshot Global Media, which formed in early February 2014 in partnership with TPG Growth, develops and produces high-quality drama and comedy television programming for the multi-platform U.S. television market.  Veteran television executive David Ellender and his senior management team work closely with young literary talent to nurture and develop commercial returning series and limited run event programming, in addition to serving as the Los Angeles bridge-head between the North American and European television markets, handling with international co-financing, co-production, and pre-sale deals.

About TPG Growth

TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm.  With $3.6 billion under management, TPG Growth targets investments in a broad range of industries and geographies, utilizing leveraged buyout, growth equity, and private investment in public equity (PIPE) structures.  The firm is backed by the resources of TPG, which has $55.7 billion of assets under management.  TPG Growth has offices in the United States, China and India. For more information, visit www.tpggrowth.com.

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