i grew up in a home where you went out into the world and earned your way. i had my first real job at 14 slinging burgers and have worked every year of my life since then. no one in the entire known history of my family, ever stood on a street corner begging for change. you didn't ask people for help or money, you just got off your ass and took care of things.
so saints has been a real stretch for me..one of the most difficult things for me personally is..i absolutely cannot do this all by myself. if i want to help animals to the extent that i am doing it now..i absolutely have to have help. and every time i have to swallow my pride and ask..i feel myself cringing inside.
to me tho, the bottom line is..asking for help is one of the necessities of caring for the animals here. it is like going to the dentist, or paying my taxes, or getting my flu shot, or euthanizing an animal..i don't like it, i might actually hate it... but sometimes it has to be done.
saints absolutely cannot survive on either what i bring home on my paycheque or with how much work in a day i can personally do.
i said i would never let saints get bigger than what i could handle on my own but i didn't stick to that. i just kept trying to help as many animals well as was humanly possible....with help.
i hate fundraising events. i hate being at the center of asking people for money. quite frankly..i hate anything to do with money...unless it comes in on my paycheque or as a lottery windfall. any other way to get it, especially asking... makes me feel like i am inadequate, less than i should be...a burden..like i can't take care of things by myself and it shames me.
that is the price that has to be paid if i am to meet the responsibility i have to these animals when i decided to step up and care for them.
so i have constructed a personal formula in fundraising for saints to try to keep my pride somewhat intact. i write blogs about rescuing animals. i figure people who read it will then donate if they feel they want to support and keep us going to do what we do best. i write one newsletter a year and it is an christmas newsletter whose only purpose is to say thank you for helping us out this year. some folks read it and they send something along to help get us thru a little while longer. and i am grateful for that. and finally we have a fundraising committee which really right now just consists of sheila with a bit of help from jenn and a few others. and they plan and execute our three main fundraising events..the spring pub night, the open house and the big fall gala.
we have have other fundraisers that people have generously chosen to do on their own..like laura's bake sale, helga's garage sales, bunny's collectible cards..and third party fundraisers by other folks too.
these fundraising efforts not only allow us to continue to pay the bills but to a certain extent..they allow me the illusion of not being reduced to a begger too. but mostly what these fudraising efforts allow us to do is...rescue senior and special needs animals.
we can take in the black buddy(s), emaciated, neglected, never had a comfortable home in his whole entire life.... about to be taken out to the back forty and shot thru the head until the spca stepped in. we can take in raven a hopeless, starved, defeated by hardship, senior horse and we can turn him into a gleaming, chubby, confident and happy boy. we can give our barnyard birds a home of comfort, safety and care...and when helga passed away friday night...at least i knew she died warm, dry and compfortable after a very long and well cared for life.
we can take in the spca cruelty seizures..pigs, goats, horses, totally wrecked dogs and cats..animals that no one else can or will take on and make up from some of the neglect and abuses they have suffered by turning their lives around.
i get that most of the folks here at saints are as uncomfortable as i am in asking for money, for donations..for anything for free. but the bottom line is...we have to. rescuing these animals makes money as much of a necessity for them as food and water and air.
we can't afford to let pride cometh before the animals fall.
so my suggestion to folks who truly feel horrid with asking for donations during the amazing race, to be creative and formulate your own save-my-pride plan. bake and sell some cookies..stop by here. i will for sure buy them! stick up a small candy bar at work and add a donation can to the cause. talk about saints and the fund raise on your coffee breaks or on the bus and spread the word here and there. have a small book sale..everyone has too many books and need to purge and most folks are always looking for cheap new ones to read too. make a poster and put it up in your vets or at your local pet store with a small tin. whatever feels ok will work.
we don't have to stand there with our hands out just begging for cash (i absolutely refuse to do that!) we can sometimes raise a few bucks by simple things that don't hurt that much. and all of our few bucks together can add up to enough to pay a vet bill or buy hay for a month.
the animals are counting on us.