Archive for January, 2012

A Party That’s for the Dogs

Clarissa celebrates her 1st birthday and helps Midwest Animal ResQ too!

My idea was far from original. I’ve been invited (along with my kids) to a handful of charitable birthday parties since I became a mom. We’ve donated everything from boxes of diapers for needy kids to cans of food for local food pantries. I’d always kicked around the idea of turning one of my kid’s parties into a charitable event. And then we had to put our family dog of 7 years to sleep. Heartbroken, I decided that one way to help me heal would be to do something good for Erin’s Midwest Animal ResQ.

Here’s how to throw a party that’s for the dogs:

  1. Find someone with a birthday, graduation, anniversary or anything to celebrate.
  2. Invite some friends. Make sure to include an explanation on the invite, letting them know not to bring gifts, but that you’re gladly accepting donations.
  3. In our case, I got a list of needs from Erin, including everything from kennels and paper towels to gas and pet store gift cards. I included the list of needs and a link to the website in the invitation. Most of our guests ended up making donations online in my daughter’s honor.
  4. Have some fun at the party! We did it up with a doggy craft project, dog ballons and doghouse plates. But the icing on the cake was literally the icing on the (cup)cakes. I used some thick chocolate frosting and piped it onto the top of the cupcakes in the form of something you’d typically be cleaning up out of your backyard. It was a huge hit with the 3 and 4 year olds!

At the end of the day, our guests helped make a difference in the lives of some of Erin’s “fur babies.” Erin sent each of them thank you’s with touching stories and pictures letting the donors know how their money had been put to use. Plus, the guests had the added bonus that the donations were tax deductible. And we got to say goodbye to our family dog in a special way. Of course, you can do this for any charity that speaks to you, but I recommend Erin’s!

(Our guest blogger, Laura Garfield, has adopted two dogs from Midwest Animal ResQ and is passionate about the work done by the rescue and the lives that have been saved.)

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  • Why I Love You … Yes You!

    As the year wrapped up, I found myself thinking about how much we have accomplished together this year. Thanks to the generous support by all you animal lovers out there, I had my busiest year of adoptions to date. In 2011 I placed 358 four-legged friends in new, loving homes. Many of you have been the excited people welcoming these new members into your family. And many of you have opened your homes and your checkbooks to make our work possible.

    The year has been dotted with memorable moments, but one of the most awe-inspiring for me came earlier this month. I’ll never forget grabbing the mail from my mailbox and sorting through the envelopes, only to find my Federal and State tax bills. I knew they would be coming, but when I saw that I owed $800 to Uncle Sam for my 501c3 status as an animal rescue, plus more than $560 to the state of Missouri, I felt sick to my stomach. Believe it or not, Missouri charges me for every dog that comes into my care, whether it lives, dies, is placed in a home or given away. And my non-profit is taxed the same way as breeder or puppy mill is taxed. Can you believe that? Ironically, I also get to pay a fee for Operation Bark Alert … the initiative to crack down on puppy mills. Aren’t I working to do that already?

    Having no cash in reserves at the time, I made a plea for help on Facebook. Your response was immediate and overwhelming. Within 12 hours, your donations had paid both the Federal & Missouri bills. Your generosity allowed me to get back to the work of saving animals, which involved whelping (helping deliver) four Lhasa Apsa puppies. Running an animal rescue involves as many ups as it does down, but as we bound into the New Year, I’m as enthusiastic as a dog knowing a treat is coming his way. There will be challenges, and there will be major successes.

    Founded in 2009, 644 adopted to date … and counting.

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