I hear you, Violet.
I get asked the same thing from time to time...I am not an 'established' or 'official' rescue yet but a lot of my money goes towards helping pit bull or rescueing...my boyfriend asked me too when we first got together
He was like 'you are on a very limited income, why do you put so much of it into pit bulls when you don't get anything in return?'
I told him what I get in return more than makes up for it, it may not be monetary but it makes me feel like I have a purpose in life, I told him I would also like to foster children.
I agree with you, kids and animals don't know what it is like to live in a happy home if they have never been in one, right now I can change that for animals. I, too, have converted quite a lot of people to rescue....one of my hobbies is going to pet stores and educating the clients on what they are about to buy. I go in armed with info and shelter phone numbers. One family even put the puppy they were going to buy back and took my entire list of shelter numbers with them. That was so awesome. I love that feeling I get when I convince someone that the shelters are the way to go..
I also like to educate people about training and behavior to help prevent the animal being sent away due to 'bad behavior'...I helped my aunt when she was ready to have her dog pts a couple of years ago....she had an older dog....kinda dominant from years of being spoiled, health wasn't that great...I gave her some advice for his diet, and put her on a training program....it worked out very nicely and she kept the dog until he died recently...now she tells everyone about me.... i love that I was able to keep that one dog from dying an unneccessary death and in the process helped someone to understand dogs better...
I know I'm rambling...I'm done now...