We invite your organization to be a part of this global awareness campaign by holding your very own pet candle-lighting ceremony on Thursday, September 28, 2023. By coordinating your own Remember Me Thursday® candle-lighting ceremony, you can generate much-needed support and donations to help pets in your rescue or shelter right now.

Register to Become a Remember Me Thursday Partner Organization

The first step to becoming involved in Remember Me Thursday is to register your pet adoption organization. Registration is simple and free!

Remember Me Thursday Ceremony Guide

Included on this page are free, customizable templates that can be tailored to your organization and used to promote your own adoptable pets on Remember Me Thursday. Simply fill in your organization’s information and you have press releases, proclamation templates and social media messaging ready to send!

1. Join the Remember Me Thursday movement with a unified candle-lighting ceremony

Date – Thursday, September 28, 2023 (4th Thursday of September, annually)

Location – If you have the proper space for an event at your facility, it is ideal.  Having your event where you do your adoptions will familiarize the public and the media with your location.  If you do not have a facility, arrange to have an off-site event.   Research vacant spaces (such as empty retail locations in local malls, church parking lots or neighborhood parks) and request the donation of space for the day of your event.

2.   Contact local dignitaries

Contact your mayor, city council member, etc. – and request that they make an appearance at your ceremony to issue a proclamation for “Remember Me Thursday Day.” A local politician or celebrity’s endorsement of the campaign at your shelter can help attract public and media attention.

3.  Customize and create print materials needed to publicize your event

Prior to your event, you will want these materials available for visitors at your reception area, throughout your facility and at local businesses that support your organization.  Don’t forget to create “day of” materials too.  (Signage for the event and take-away pamphlets with more information about your facility)

4.  Confirm your event with staff, volunteers and celebrities

It’s best to confirm your event specifics in writing. Be sure to confirm with key staff members and/or dedicated volunteers helping to create your ceremony, after determining what materials you will need.

If your event includes a politician or celebrity, decide whether you will need a podium, microphone, etc.

Make sure you have a photographer scheduled, even a volunteer photographer, for the day of your event.  You’ll want to share these photos with the media and on social media immediately after the ceremony.

5.  Prepare and distribute media materials

Develop a good list of media contacts by obtaining the email addresses of the news desks at all local TV stations; the morning show producers at all the local radio stations; and the editors of all the local papers, magazines and on-line news services.

Be sure to get your press release (a formal announcement of your event) and media alert (an event reminder) out in plenty of time for media to get your event on their calendars. (Your press release should go out no later than 3-4 weeks in advance; your media alert should go out no later than 2-3 days in advance.)

Do NOT send out anything that doesn’t include a great visual.  Send heart-warming photos of your pets along with your media communication.

6.   Share Remember Me Thursday on social media


  • Share why your organization is joining Remember Me Thursday and how you plan to honor orphan pets in your own, special way.
  • Invite your followers to participate with you by sharing their own rescue pets and where they were adopted from.
  • Share the #RememberMeThursday Contest (opens August 20) and how your adopters can win life-saving funds and pet food for you!





If you are doing a Remember Me Thursday event, please take photos or do a live social media broadcast! We’d love to see how you are inspiring and engaging your community to be voices for orphan pets. Remember to tag your photos with #RememberMeThursday, or feel free to tag @hwac so we can share your event!


Later this year, share the #RememberMeThursday Contest for a chance to win funds and pet food. When your adopters, volunteers and staff post their rescue pet’s photo on social media, they can win life-saving funds and pet food for you (aka their favorite shelter or rescue!)

The contest opens August 20 and will run until September 30!

7.  Organize staff and volunteers

Make sure everyone understands his/her role and has clear direction on his/her responsibilities.

8.  Provide local officials and any other participants with an agenda

Your agenda should outline details of timing and what you expect them to do at the event.  (This agenda should go out no less than 1 week in advance.)

If you plan on having an organization spokesperson, or a celebrity host, speak at the event, be sure to create a one-sheet with a few points about the Remember Me Thursday campaign that you would like them to communicate and provide them with a script no later than 2-3 days in advance.  (As appropriate: Remind them that this event is strictly for the benefit of the animals. The goal is to build awareness for homeless pets.)

9.  Hold Your Ceremony

Your event should be a personal and fulfilling event for your organization. Here are some ideas on what you can incorporate to make it memorable!

• Read the official Remember Me Thursday® poem, written by Helen Woodward Animal Center President and CEO and Remember Me Thursday creator Mike Arms.

• Incorporate a candle-lighting or luminary component to keep with the theme, “lighting up the world for orphan pets.”

• Invite a dignitary or local community leader to speak on why pet adoption is important.

• Do a ‘Blessing of the Animals’ and invite local faith leaders to say a prayer.

• Hold a pet walk at dusk and use flashlights, LED lights and glowsticks to make it special!

• Provide donation opportunities!

• Host a concert at a local park.

• Remember to provide rescue facility informational materials and a donation box at an info table for attendees. Participants will be moved to help and often seek a way to contribute to your shelter.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to take photos and video of your event to share on your organization’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts! Be sure to use #RememberMeThursday so the whole world can see what you’re doing for adoptable pets on this special day.

10. Follow up with the media immediately after the event

Even if the local media didn’t make it out to your event, they will often do a follow-up story if you send them some great photos from the day and/or short clips of video footage (even brief clips from a smartphone!) from the ceremony.