Our activist of the year is someone who demonstrates compassion and commitment to helping animals. Someone who goes over and beyond what most people do to help animals. Tom Bird exemplifies all this and more. He is someone who cares about human and non-human animals. His daily actions show his passion and commitment to speaking up for the voiceless.
Tom is one of the kindest and gentlest persons I’ve ever known. At the same time, he is a strong voice and a strong activist in our movement to help all animals and our environment. He can always be counted on to use powerful words and actions yet remains controlled and gentle in his approach. You can always count on him to speak from the heart in all aspects of activism and his life.
Tom is a long time FVA lifetime member and a former Bd member (2013 – 2014) and has been on our advisory board since then. We can always rely on him to assist with any FVA tabling, including Tampa Bay Veg Fest, Eco Fest or any other events. You can also find him at most demonstrations.
Many years ago, Tom and his wife Barbara helped us staff a booth at the Florida State Fair. FVA staffed a booth there for several years. The Fair requires the booth to be staffed for the entire 10 hours it is open and for the 10 days they are there. They were both always willing to help cover several shifts.
Tom enjoys meeting, connecting and speaking with young people about the rights of animals and ways to help reduce the abuse and exploitation they are so often subjected to. He has done many lectures in the past years for students at area colleges and enjoys engaging them in educational conversations.
He has been the Al Lopez feral Cat colony coordinator for many years. This includes scheduling helpers, coordinating trapping, and treating any sick or injured cat and Trap, Neuter (Sterilize), Vaccinate and Release (TNVR) to keep the feral cats healthy and control the population.
Tom has helped FVA at most quarterly Al Lopez Park cleanups for many years. FVA adopted this park to help keep it clean for everyone to visit, helping the environment and a way to care for the feral who live there. He became our Al Lopez Park clean up coordinator last year since our long-time board member and former cleanup coordinator Diane Koon retired.
He is an amazing and articulate writer who expresses himself with knowledge, tact, and persuasion.
Thank you Tom for all your years of service to FVA, the animals, our environment and other humans. It is an honor to call you my friend and it was a delight to surprise you with the FVA Activist of the year award at this year’s 28th Annual Have a Heart for the Animals Award Dinner Fundraiser on February 25th. - Myriam Parham