It’s the end of the year – a typical time for self reflection and analysis of our activities and initiatives. We’re all pretty exhausted from too much fundraising, last minute shopping, gift giving and holiday eating. There’s only a few days left to pull ourselves together; gotta organize our desks and come up with some kind of a plan to plunge into the new year – or not.
Personally, I don’t feel like doing a damned thing right now. It’s 23 degrees outside and I’m dreading the idea of having to take Lola and Alvin for their next walk. I’d much rather plop down on the couch with a hot cup of tea, scroll through everyone’s surreal cheerful photos on facebook and instagram and then take a nap. Oh, where has my get-up-and-go gone?
Hmmmm . . . let me look back at all of our photos, taken during harnesslife.org’s events in 2017 . . .
Wow. We were busy this year.
Spay Neuter Clinics & Shuttles
We initiate, publicize, organize, and subsidize these spay neuter initiatives. They help local pet owners, community cat caretakers, students at Hunterdon Polytech Animal Sciences, TNR trappers and rescues – and, of course, the cats and dogs. We collaborate with several wonderful organizations (People For Animals, Tabby’s Place, Hunterdon County Polytech, Lambertville Animal Welfare, CAPIC Cats and others) to make it all happen. In 2017 we completed 3 clinics (2 mobile and 1 stationary) and 6 shuttles. Our subsidy amounts vary; we covered 100% of spay neuter costs at the Fifty Feral Fix (in partnership with North Brunswick Humane Association) and cover all but $15 per feral at our Fix A Feral For $15 spay neuter shuttles.
During these clinics and shuttles 350 feral cats, 27 pet or adoptable cats and 5 dogs were spayed or neutered.
Presentations, Workshops & Outreach – Oh My!
Education is essential to successfully reducing the number of cats and dogs that land in our shelters. We will speak to any size or type of group (scouts, students, clubs, service organizations – kids, adults, seniors); we custom tailor the presentations (25 minute overview series through 2½ hour workshops) – and will travel to just about any location in Central NJ. Our volunteers are always eager to speak with individuals, too, at community or public events.
Enjoy this video recap of our 2017 initiatives!
We are proud to be able to say that more than 95 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to our Spay Neuter Fund! The rest of the money must be used for operating expenses, such as liability insurance, NJ Annual Report fees, PayPal fees, mailing and PO Box rental.
Our two big fundraising efforts take place at the end of the summer season (our huge yard sale) and during the holidays (Photos With Santa.) Thank goodness for our amazing volunteers; we could not do this type of fundraising and community outreach without them. It is hard work.
Want a giggle? Check out our Santa photos! All were done at local PetValu stores in Hackettstown, Clinton, Branchburg and Phillipsburg, NJ. We took photos of 34 adults, 21 kids, 154 dogs, 7 cats, 3 bunnies and 1 hedgehog; we had 4 Santas plus 18 volunteers who took time from their busy holiday schedules to ensure that these events were successful.
Even after all of the time and effort – and all of the thousands of dollars raised – we just squeaked by with enough money to sponsor the spay neuter for those 380+ animals! It’s frustrating, as there are so many more animals in need – just in Central New Jersey. We could do so much more to help them . . . if only we had the spay neuter funds.
What Would Help?
More monetary donations. (Sure, every non-profit says that . . . ) But, if you know of any organization or company who would be willing to sponsor a shuttle (or a spay) please let us know!
More dedicated volunteers. We always welcome creative thinkers, energetic doers and visionary planners. Wanna get involved? Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org (We’ll be posting some specific needs on VolunteerMatch in January, too.)
More folks who can spare a few moments each day. All we ask is that you share our stuff on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest – wherever you see it. Also, if you’re shopping on Amazon (did you get an Amazon gift card for Christmas?) please start HERE. It’s not Amazon Smile. It’s better. Harnesslife.org is an Amazon affiliate!
So, back to the question . . . after the exhaustion, the all-consuming planning and implementation, the schlepping, the worrying, the last minute emergencies (Santa has bronchitis), the begging, the stretching-your-comfort-zone boundaries and the sweating (did I mention how hot it is in August during a yard sale?) . . . “Is it really worth it?”
You betcha’ it is.