Howdy folks, sorry for the lack of posts lately. My second job has been kicking my butt.
Let's talk philanthropy. Giving cash to a reputable charity should probably be high on your priority list right about now. After all, this is the season when we most need to take a step back from our consumer culture and remember what's important in life (hint: it's not a new phone). However, not everyone has much cash to give. (Heck, those of us with horses just have vet bills!) So today we're going to talk about how you can help some good causes this Christmas without breaking the bank.
1. Vote for Midwest Horse Welfare to win 10k!
One of the best horse rescues in Wisconsin, Midwest Horse Welfare is also probably the largest. Right now, they have a chance to win $10,000 from Sentry Insurance in Steven's Point, WI. All you have to do is vote on Facebook at this link. You can only vote once, and voting ends January 4th. Don't wait! You'll forget over the holidays! Just go vote now.
2. Join the Fleet of Angels
Fleet of Angels is an incredible organization is dedicated to transporting horses out of trouble. So many times, you hear, "Oh, I could give that neglected horse a home, but I don't have a trailer!" Well now volunteers across the USA and Canada can sign up to fix situations like this. If someone in your area needs help (maybe with transporting a neglect case, or starting a hay drive) they can contact you through FOA. And if you need help, you can find people in your area to contact as well.
Worried about scams and spam? I've been signed up as an Angel for about two years now, and have never gotten any junk mail or email as a result of it. In those two years, I have gotten just a couple of very polite, legitimate requests for help.
I am hoping you'll become an Angel too-- according to this map, there are lots of bare spots with no angels in Wisconsin! By the way, Fleet of Angels is a registered non-profit, and only lists horse transport companies that offer reduced rates for charity.
Fleet of Angels is also on Facebook.
3. Make a Feral Cat / Barn Cat Shelter
The temperatures last night plummeted to negative -7 here. Brrr! Outside cats do grow thicker coats in the winter, but this kind of cold is really rough on them. Why not take a couple of minutes today and make a cat's life better?
The shelters below were all created for less than $20. Their main features are:
1) The entrance holes are off the ground, to prevent snow or water from getting in easily.
2) They are insulated with foam and straw.
3) The entrance holes are pretty small (just larger than a cat's head) in order to prevent heat from escaping (or raccoons from getting in).
Maybe you have some spare time, but no spare cash. Well there are places that want your time even more than your money! Many animal rescues need people to clean, do small handyman jobs, work on basic training, contribute to bake sales, etc. Just so you know, you may not be allowed/asked to work with animals
until you have volunteered at a place for a while, and the staff fully
trusts you. This is just one way rescues help keep animals and people
safe. However, you can still have tons of fun!
For example, Midwest Horse Welfare recently had volunteers work the concessions stand during a Packer's game, so that the rescue could get some of the proceeds. Very cool, and it looks good on a resume!
You can find a list of Wisconsin horse rescues here, or find other volunteering opportunities at Volunteer Match.
5. Find Someone's Horse
Sometimes, information is more valuable than gold. For example, there are many people out there looking for horses they once owned. Here's just one. Can you help?
6. Donate Your Stuff
Are you cleaning out your closet? Did you peek into the presents and spot the new bridle you're getting for Christmas? There's a great way to make room-- donate! Many horse rescues gladly accept donations of you old stuff. They sell it at regular charity auctions and garage sales. Tack is especially welcome, but your horse books, horse paintings, dog stuff, farm equipment, riding wear, and tools are usually also readily accepted.
7. Sponsor & Donate
Do you know someone that is impossible to shop for? This year, give them the gift of charity. Give a donation in their name, or sponsor an animal in their name for a small amount each month. The amount you send doesn't have to be huge! Some organizations even provide holiday cards that explain your charitable gift.
The Wisconsin Humane Society is one organization that lets you sponsor a shelter pet.
That's all for now folks. Stay tuned for more updates on the Otter Creek Case, Barb Thiry's next trial date, and a post called "You Might Be a Wisconsin Horse Owner IF..."