Puppies in a laundry basket

Saving Paws, Inspiring a Community

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Pursuing a dream can have a major ripple effect. Learn how Randy Grim’s Mission to save stray dogs through his non-profit, Stray Rescue of St. Louis, has made a huge impact on his community.

There are many ways to spark a passion. Maybe your first Broadway play inspired you to pursue an acting career. Perhaps seeing your parent start a business motivated you to become an entrepreneur yourself. Whatever your dream, there’s a defining moment where it all started.

For Randy Grim, it was when he saved his very first dog. Coming from an abusive home himself, Randy could relate and sympathize with the mistreated dogs in his community, and his passion became glaringly clear very early on in life.

“I rescued my first dog when I was 5. He looked at me with such fear, and I knew at just 5 years old…I understood that fear. I had the same fear. And these dogs deserve better than this,” expresses Randy. “My heart broke seeing so many stray and abused dogs living on the streets, and nobody cared or did anything about it. My first step was to give them a voice, man created this problem and I felt it was up to all of us to take responsibility.”

Now, years later, Randy has transformed his passion into a movement. In 1998, he started his non-profit, Stray Rescue of St. Louis (Opens in a new tab), and his dream has grown from a one-man operation to a network of thousands working every day to save and love the abandoned and abused dogs from some of the country’s most dangerous streets, proving that one person’s passion truly can make a difference.

The Ripple Effect

Through all the good he’s done and all the lives he’s saved, Randy remains humble, and counts himself lucky to be living his best life every single day. But beyond his own happiness, he’s made a huge impact on his community — and not just the 4-legged members.

“It started with one dream — to help end the suffering of companion animals on the streets or in an abusive situation. I never meant to be the founder of anything,” says Randy.

Regardless of his initial intentions, Stray Rescue has turned into a major organization that has changed the entire landscape of a major city forever, and touched many lives in the best way possible.

“It was another defining moment in my dream to make the world a bit better of a place for animal and human,” says Randy. “My work employs people to make a living at what they love to do and has enhanced many households with a new best friend. Being aware of the ripple effect has brought my work to a new level. And the rewards feed my soul and give me a constant drive in my heart to be a better human being.”

If there’s one thing we can learn from Randy’s story, it’s that our dreams can have a major impact on those around us. And no matter what your passion, pursuing it tends to have a ripple effect. Think back on that defining moment — who inspired you to go for your goals? Just leading by example and living a life you can be proud of motivates dreamers like you to continue the journey. And if you ask us, making a difference for even one other person is something worth dreaming for.

“Being the best that you can be, I feel, is the true meaning of life,” offers Randy. “So be genuine with your journey and come from a place of love.”

Want to contribute to Randy’s cause? Here’s how you can get involved (Opens in a new tab).

And if you're looking for more ways to better your community, check out these social impact resources to create a better tomorrow.

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