Tag Archive: animals

Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) spreads cheer and blankets of Love at painting fundraiser for animals

Eileen Smulson and her husband, Brad have been rescuing dozens of animal shelters and animal rescue organizations for several years with pet supplies and blankets of Love. Every quarter Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) hold fundraisers to raise funds to pay for their operations. On Sunday, May 22, 2016, around three dozen supporters and friends turned out for a “Wine & Painting Party” to benefit OBOL.

OBOL PAINTING PARTY“Having a painting party today to help homeless animals and animals in shelters,” said Eileen Smulson, founder, Operation Blankets of Love. “We have dozens of people here enjoying wine, cheese, cookies and food along with lots of volunteers who coordinated the fundraising event. Everyone is drawing a dog and a cat over a landscape and they don’t have to be professional painters to do it. All of these people here love animals and they’re going to help us raise money to give comfort to homeless pets because they’re committed to helping us with our mission,” she said.

OBOL’s mission is to provide comfort to animals in shelters. The charity rescues about 1,000+ animals each month through the donations and pet supplies donated throughout Southern California. They were with some 60 shelters locally, dozens of rescue organizations and OBOL teaches young children how to show respect for animals because Smulson believes society needs to educate people about carrying for their best friends. “There’s such an overpopulation in the shelters that we really need to educate people,” she explained. “We are just so glad to have all of these wonderful animal lovers who support OBOL turn out for a good cause.

OBOL PAINTING PARTYHeading up the painting party was Channing Friedman, an art instructor and owner of The Paintery, a traveling paint party. She said, “It’s an honor to be here and I’m going to be teaching how to paint step-by-step. You don’t have to be an artist because we teaching everyone the same step-by-steps to learn how to paint. We make sure everyone feels comfortable with their painting.” Friedman also noted that many people paint for relaxation. “Time and time again, people come up to me and say, ‘I haven’t picked up a paint brush since kindergarten, and haven’t touched on since,” she said. “They even said how relaxed they were and it even brought out the inner child in them and they couldn’t believe that they walked away with the beautiful painting that they have.”

Eileen Smulson was never a “dog person”, but her husband Brad Smulson loved all pets. She discovered how much she loves animals after a trip to the shelter and spotted “Ginger”, a terrier mix among some 15 dogs. Not only did they hit it off at the start, but Ginger became the mascot of OBOL when she asked the shelter manager, “Where’s the blankets to keep these dogs warm?” When Smulson learned there was no budget she started collecting blankets. Dozens soon turned to hundreds of blankets and hundred to 100,000+.

2016-05-23 05.16.56OBOL is some grassroots, community-driven nonprofit animal welfare, and emergency relief organization founded in 2008. Its’ unique purpose is to improve the well-being and survival of homeless animals and increase chances for survival and adoption — with the ultimate aim of eliminating animal homelessness. Most importantly, by improving homeless animals’ quality of life, OBOL’s services help them become more outgoing and affectionate, leading to being adopted more often and they reduced euthanasia. OBOL provides comfort and care items to shelters, rescues, pets of the homeless, sanctuaries, and fosters to improve the well-being of stray, sick, abused, and neglected homeless animals, increasing their chances for adoption which saves lives.

Eileen Smulson was a former school teacher and a founder of a singing telegram balloon delivery business at 25 in New Jersey and a fundraiser in the non-profit world for 20 years in Los Angeles. Some of the charities she worked as an executive included: The American Cancer Society, Anti-Defamation League, the largest human rights agency in the country and Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency and disaster relief/rescue services. During her years of non-profit work, she raised millions of dollars for many non-profits causes helping people and earned numerous national awards.2016-05-23 05.53.14

“I like to think outside of the box and use my entrepreneurial attitude and passion for animal welfare issues to now helping the animals that have no voice,” she said. “It all started on a cold rainy day in January 2008 when I saw puppies shivering at an animal shelter near my home. I was disturbed to think of my first pet, ‘Ginger’, a four-month-old terrier mix that I adopted in 2003 was lying on a cold, hard cement floor. I was going to try to collect 100 blankets for the shelters and through it, all Operation Blankets of Love was born. “OBOL is like the Red Cross because every day is a disaster for homeless animals and we are on the front lines, she said. “We rescue the rescuers.”

If you would like to donate blankets, towels or pet supplies visit the OBOL website for more or call 818-402-6586 for more information how you can volunteer and or donate. There are hundreds of pet stores and locations through Southern California where blankets and supplies can be dropped off.

Operation Blankets of Loves reminds you to protect your pets from the bitter SoCal winter cold snap

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Founder Eileen Smulson, OBOL (L) with charity spokesperson Actress Charlotte Ross (R) and a volunteer donating more toys and supplies. (This story was first published on Examiner.com)

“Bring your pet inside during the winter months. It’s ridiculous to hear that people are leaving their pets outside,” said Brad Smulson, Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) an animal welfare and relief organization in Granada Hills, CA. OBOL provides food, blankets, and pet supplies to some 60 organizations in Southern California. “I’ve seen pictures of animals left out in the cold. OBOL reminds you to keep them warm, kept them fed and love them,” he said. ASPCA has cold weather safety tips for your animals. We caught up with Brad Smulson on his stop at The Village, Westfield Shopping Center today (Feb. 06, 2016).

OBOL collects blankets and pet supplies all over SoCal and distributes them to shelters through California. The nonprofit 501(c) receives emergency calls 24/7 and a half dozen shelters will come by OBOL headquarters for blankets, food, and pet supplies. OBOL relies on financial donations and collection bins, which are placed in various pet stores and retail outlets. Smulson says he puts about 600 miles on their company van each week to pick up donations.

How rescuing her Dog inspired Eileen Smulson to create to create the animal relief organization operation blankets of love

Ginger in foreground goes everywhere Eileen does. Above in the class room to teach children anti-animal cruelty and other animal comfort tips.

Ginger in foreground goes everywhere Eileen does. Above in a school class to teach children anti-animal cruelty and other animal comfort tips.

“I never owned a pet until my husband, Brad Smulson, and I adopted Ginger,” explained Eileen Smulson, OBOL founder and CEO. “I could not picture Ginger lying frightened and sad on a cold hard cement floor, caged up in a shelter. I wanted to make sure every homeless pet had warmth and comfort by having a blanket to snuggle in while they were waiting to be adopted into a loving forever home. Ginger is my inspiration to launch Operation Blankets of Love,” she said.

Ginger, a terrier-poodle mix was about five months old when Smulson spotted her wandering on a scorching desert highway in Palmdale, CA, tired, scared, thirsty, hungry, and confused. The little mutt is now a certified pet therapy partner. The dog visits hospitals, assisted living homes, veteran hospitals, nursing homes, schools and community centers. OBOL Teaches thousands of children from pre-school to college level with a Humane Education Learning Program (HELP). Ginger helps youth and civic groups bring home the message to treat animals with loving care. She volunteers for Kids N Pets pet education programs and for R.E.A.D Dog (Read Education Assistance Dog), a one-on-one reading program for the kids in schools and libraries. Additionally, OBOL also teaches anti-animal cruelty in schools through LA Unified School District.

OBOL Brad Smulson and his wife Eileen are committed to making a positive change on behalf of homeless animals, one shelter at a time. Prior to OBOL’s formation, most animals in public shelters throughout Los Angeles had no bedding and slept on the cold, cement floors. Thanks to OBOL’s advocacy/policy work, all six LA City Shelters now supply comfort items to the animals in their care, 24/7. OBOL also raised public awareness about the plight of homeless animals by conducting four pet adoption events and attending 20 Pet Adoption/Expo events annually, where they stage information booths. The Smulsons, with the help of volunteers, pass out literature about how “Adoption is the Best Option” and the importance of spaying and neutering companion animals. They also engage hundreds of people per event, including teachers, Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders and others, who sign up to conduct animal comfort and care item collections.

OBOL has been responsible for saving 1,500 homeless animals each month, more than 18,000 homeless animals a year and hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs over the last decade through their partnerships with shelters and animal rescue organizations such as Best Friends, Los Angeles, Wings of Rescue, Dogs without Borders and theWestside German Shepard Rescue to name a few.

Workplace Giving — pet lovers can make the difference to help stop the suffering of homeless animals says Operation Blankets of Love.

Brad

Brad Smulson, OBOL unloads pet supplies collected in SoCal with the help of school volunteers. 

“There are workplace giving programs that allow employees to make regular donations to eligible charities through a special payroll system,” said Brad Smulson. “It can be the same contribution every month through your paycheck or just a one-time gift automatically deducted from your payroll check.” Donations are accepted online. Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) comfort and aid homeless animals and increase their chances of being adopted. For more on how to volunteer, donate funds, blankets, food or supplies visit OperationBlankesofLove. Find them on Twitter @OBOLPAWs and on Facebook.