Eileen never had a pet before in her life. Inspired by one little dog named Ginger, she founded OBOL, offering hope to thousands of stray, sick, neglected, abused and homeless animals.
A Note from Eileen
Operation Blankets of Love was created in January 2008. I was a former school teacher, a founder of a singing telegram balloon delivery business at 25 in New Jersey, as well as a fundraiser in the non-profit world for twenty years in Los Angeles. Some of the charities I worked for as an executive were 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 my years of non-profit work, I raised millions of dollars for many non-profits causes helping people and won national awards.
I like to think outside the box and use my entrepreneurial attitude and passion for animal welfare issues to help the animals that have no voice.
It all started on a cold rainy day in January 2008 when I saw puppies shivering at an animal shelter near my home. Disturbed to think of my first pet, Ginger, a four-month terrier mix that I adopted in 2003, lying on a cold, hard cement floor, I expressed my concern to the head of the shelters. The following day I met the shelter manager. She explained that there is no budget to purchase much-needed blankets and towels. I offered to help and in just a few weeks I collected over 800 blankets and towels. When I learned that animal rescue groups needed not only blankets and towels, but other comfort/care items (e.g., leashes/collars, carriers, crates), I established 20 drop-off locations and collected over 3,000 more items in several months. Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) was born.
Buoyed by the success, I dedicated myself full time to the cause. This passion and compassion motivated me to later form Operation Blankets of Love as a nonprofit in March 2009. Since that time, with the help and dedication of my husband, Brad, and volunteers, OBOL has gained incredible momentum, meeting the comfort and care needs of tens of thousands of homeless animals in Greater Los Angeles, 9 California counties, as well as out-of-state and internationally. To date OBOL has established 65 drop-off sites and has collected over 5 million animal comfort and care supplies to date, valued at over $7 million.
We have grown by leaps and bounds and have an extensive Humane Education Learning Program (HELP), an anti-cruelty campaign “We Dream of Justice, Too” and put on pet adoption events.
I have been featured in local and national television and cable shows, radio shows, magazines and newspapers and received numerous awards of recognition.
A Note from Ginger, Mascot and Public Relations Director
I was about five months old, wandering a scorching desert highway in Palmdale, California. I was so tired, scared, thirsty, hungry, and confused. I didn't know how I ended up in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness someone found me because I had no tags or microchip. I was placed in a pleasant animal rescue group run by a wonderful lady.
October 11, 2003 is a day I will never forget. I was taken to Northridge, California with fifteen other homeless pets so the rescue lady could find a forever loving home for us.
I was the only one that did not yelp, bark, or cry. I was so timid and scared. I sat quietly in a pet cage waiting to be discovered. All of a sudden I was put into the arms of a man who petted and hugged me. Gee, this was the first time I was ever petted in my life and it felt so good. Then a woman bent over and did the same thing. Well, I was one lucky dog that day. They became my Mom and Pop and I became part of their family. My forever Mom never had a furry child before and had to go to doggie training school so we could learn the ropes together. I love and enjoy being their Public Relations Director and Mascot and spreading our mission to help get homeless animals adopted!! Since then these are my accomplishments:
- Spreads the word, "Adoption is the Best Option"
- Public Relations Director and OBOL Mascot everyday of the year
- Teaching thousands of children from pre- school to college level OBOL’S Humane Education Learning Program (HELP) including youth and civic groups
- Recipient of the American Red Cross Community Service Award
- Volunteer for READ Dog (Read Education Assistance Dog) Program: One-on-one reading with the kids in schools and libraries
- Graduate of 6 dog training classes: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, Tricks, Fun and Games and Dancing with the Dogs, plus Outdoor Agility
- Certified pet therapy partner: Visiting hospitals, assisted living homes, veteran hospitals, nursing homes, schools and community centers
- Big Socialite...I just LOVE people!