Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

Left Hand Laurel – Laurel Fox


February 1, 2019

Courtesy Photo

In December, Laurel Fox delivered gifts collected through a Nextdoor post for a gentleman named Venny who she has seen on the streets for years.

There are people in the world who see an opportunity to help others and just do it from the bottom of their big hearts. That describes Laurel Fox, this month’s Left Hand Laurel.

Fox is the Courier’s first Left Hand Laurel named Laurel and, although she’s not technically left handed, she said a couple of years ago she mangled the fingers on her dominant right hand in a lawn mower and has subsequently developed excellent dexterity in her left hand. Thankfully, being a southpaw isn’t a requirement for this honor. It’s being a giving person that makes each Left Hand Laurel recipient extra-special and inspirational.

Fox’s kindness toward other beings extends beyond her own nonprofit organization and above her collecting holiday gifts for a man in need. It goes further than her visits to local animal shelters to spend time with lonely animals and it’s more far-reaching than the five rescue dogs she and her fiancé call family. Fox is also a nurse, so caring for others is flat-out her life’s purpose.

Fox’s mother was recently tested at that critical five-year mark for cancer patients and was deemed officially clear of the disease. No long after though, doctors diagnosed a tumor on her tongue. Fox is by her side as a caregiver while she’s undergoing medical procedures.

“She is a trooper and the most wonderful woman,“ Fox said of her mother. “She’s the one who taught me to care about the bugs and the dogs and all creatures and people less fortunate. She’s the reason I became a nurse and she’s the reason I have so many rescue dogs, and why I take spiders out of the house because they just lost their way.”

Nursing is Fox’s second career, one she started at age 38 after having owned a daycare business. Back then, even a child’s bloody scraped knee would make her squeal. But Fox’s mother got very sick and needed her help.

“It was pretty bad and I didn’t think she’d make it through,” Fox said. “I just made a commitment to the universe and God and my mom that if she could pull through, I would go back to school to become a nurse. That was 13 years ago and I love it!”

She’s now a medical surgery and an oncology nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette.

“‘Venny, like Benny,’ was how he told me his name,” Fox said about the man she has seen on the streets in Boulder and frequently at the same spot in Gunbarrel. With the grocery cart he pushes along the Diagonal Highway and his colorful sign that reads “You, Awesome,” it’s easy to spot Venny.

Fox said, “He’s a rare bird. He’s just so incredibly fun and happy. I’ve known him for years now and it’s always a casual conversation in passing or sometimes a wave. It’s sweet.”

Even on frigid days Venny tells Fox he’s doing “happy things.” He frequently does a little dance to demonstrate his joy. He has never asked for anything, Fox said, and occasionally she’ll give him dollar bills or a granola bar through the window. Every Christmas she likes to give him a little something more. This year, via the Nextdoor platform, she asked the community to pitch in.

The only time she has gotten out of the car to have a conversation with Venny was when she delivered his holiday gifts. While not everyone on Nextdoor was amenable to doing something for Venny, Fox’s post resulted in gifts to keep him warm, to feed him, but mostly to show him that others care.

Beyond her everyday kindnesses, six years ago Fox started an organization called Cause4Paws to raise money for animal rescue groups. By putting the word out to the surrounding community, Cause4Paws collects hundreds of items that become the makings of an enormous multi-day yard sale held each August.

Courtesy Photo

Left Hand Laurel – Laurel Fox

So far, Cause4Paws has raised $20,000 for Izzy’s Place Senior Dog Rescue in Fort Collins, National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado Springs, My Fairy Dawg Mother Rescue in Denver, and other organizations that save and find forever homes for dogs that would otherwise be euthanized.

In her spare time, she visits dogs, especially senior dogs, in local shelters so they’re loved and don’t become withdrawn. Then she posts social media pictures to help them find a family. One of Fox’s dogs is a certified therapy dog who goes with her on visits to long term care centers.

“This so much fun. It chippers up the people there to have a puppy on their lap,” Fox said.

Venny tells Fox, “Keep doing happy things!” She seems naturally inclined to follow that advice and to help others be happy through her love and care.

For more information on how to be part of Cause4Paws, visit https://www.facebook.com/C4P.ARF/


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