Carers' dedication earns award

FOR more than 15 years, volunteers at the Animal Rights and Rescue Group in Lismore have spent countless hours caring for thousands of abandoned and neglected animals.

That’s why founder Barbara Steffensen was yesterday presented with the Shining World Compassion Award.

The award was presented by members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for ‘outstanding effort and enlightened leadership in creating a bright future for humanity’.

Ms Steffensen said she was ‘very honoured’ to accept the award on behalf of herself and the volunteers.

“We don’t get recognition very often,” she said.

“So it’s a really great honour for us to be recognised by a world leader like the Supreme Master Ching Hai.

“It’s emotional. This award is not just for me – it’s for everyone. We have about 25 volunteers.

“We are all just so dedicated to the animals on our planet.”

A bonus of winning the award was the $US10,000 ($A10,750) that the organisation received.

The much-needed donation will help to keep the doors of the animal shelter open.

The shelter needs to raise $50,000 to pay the salary of an administration person, otherwise it could be forced to close in the near future.

It’s a possibility that Ms Steffensen doesn’t want to contemplate.

“We have raised more than $25,000 ourselves,” she said.

“But we are still in need of donations. We know that a lot of people are trying to help.

“It’s amazing what people will give.

“We are very lucky. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.

“Receiving this award could be a turning point for us.”

For more information about the Animal Rights and Rescue Group, or to make a donation, visit its website at www.animalrights.org.au

The shelter is located at Three Chain Road.



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