With the COVID-19 pandemic now into its second year, Canadians are continuing to come up with creative ways to cope amid the ongoing public health crisis.
And for some people just outside Calgary, that involves enlisting the help of a young survivor who’s triumphed over some pretty tough odds.
That survivor is a baby goat named Lola, bouncing back after being born on a frigid night six weeks ago.
“She was just shaking, so tiny and so cold,” Lola’s owner Sharon Shuttleworth said. “And then she got severe pneumonia and we just about lost her.”
Lola was adopted from a farm by Shuttleworth and her husband just hours after she was born. Her mother died and the farmer said he was not able to care for her.
She gained lots of Facebook followers after they started posting daily updates on the plucky goat’s progress.
“(The followers) were starting to let us know how much she was helping their mental health and how great they felt when they saw her stories — how she was making them laugh,” Shuttleworth said.
Those positive reactions inspired Shuttleworth to put her little goat at the centre of something big.
The Lola Project is raising money to help boost mental health in the Airdrie area.
“(Helping relieve) work stress, pandemic stress — we’re just trying to help our community, because we’re all in a really, really bad time,” Shuttleworth said.
“And this little goat seems to have really touched people’s hearts and brought so much joy to people.”
Information on the Lola Project is available at http://www.facebook.com/LolaTheLittleGoat.
All proceeds from fundraising efforts will go to the Airdrie Health Foundation.
“(Funds will) support a lot of youth programs: social media, school stress, family — there’s so much stress for our youth,” said Michelle Bates, the executive director of the Airdrie Health Foundation. “So this money is going to go to a lot of good use.”
Shuttleworth is getting creative with the fundraising campaign, featuring Lola on several pieces of merchandise, such as mugs and greeting cards.
“We’ve got a buff coming that is made with artwork that Lola did herself – she did some painting with her little hooves,” Shuttleworth said. “And our biggest seller this last week was Lola visits: for $25 you can come to our house and have an hour with Lola, or for $60, we’ll come to your house.”
Bates said she is very grateful for the support, coming at a time when it’s needed so badly.
“This goat is amazing,” Bates said. “Watching her just makes a smile come to your face.”