Happy Blog the Change Day everyone! There are some great causes today and I love reading about what matters most to my fellow pet bloggers. While there are tons of global causes super worthy of support, I’d like to bring the focus of this post more local. And not just local, but to the smallest of the local rescue & animal welfare groups.
There are so many animal groups out there that it can be hard to decide who to support, either with volunteer hours, money or both. I tend to be very locally oriented with my personal support. Obviously we care about animal welfare worldwide, but I tend to donate to my local rescues more than I do the giant corporation-like organizations. They do amazing work but I feel that the money I can afford to donate will go a lot further with small rescues. Every penny counts with these groups – it’s used to get the simplest things: towels, pet beds, toys, bowls, food, litter. Every little bit matters.
Central Texas Feline Rescue
I’ve seen this firsthand in my work with Central Texas Feline Rescue. We are a tiny group with no budget whatsoever that manages to feed over 200 ferals a day and trap-neuter-return (TNR) roughly 300 cats per year. Almost everything comes from our pockets, most of all from the founder. We are lucky to make $1500 at a fundraiser that takes months to plan. When we make that much it’s gone almost immediately, helping to buy a literal ton of cat food which only lasts a couple months. It’s hard and anything we get is so appreciated. Compare that to another local group that has a budget of something around 1.5 million dollars per year. You read that right! And that’s nothing compared to the huge organizations. Donations to them are important, obviously, and with that larger budget comes the ability to impact a greater number of animals lives. I am not against the big groups here – far from it. But for those of us who can only spare a few dollars here and there, it would be a larger comparative impact for the small group rather than the large one.
Hardships of Small Groups
It’s hard to be a small group. No one even knows you’re there. When every single volunteer spends every free second feeding & trapping & fostering & transporting, there’s no time for PR. There’s no time to put together huge fundraisers. There’s no time to even find more volunteers so each one has a lighter load! Besides that, even when you do look for volunteers, people would rather volunteer for or donate to a group that has more “face-value”, if you will. They want people to know what group they’re talking about when they tell people that’s who they’re helping. When you have a small group, it’s impossible to compete in contests to win money or donations of other kinds because there aren’t enough people to vote for you. It’s a numbers game and it keeps the small groups small.
Obviously all groups had to start with an idea and likely a tiny base of people. Some beat the odds and manage to make it to a well-established, well-known group. Good for them! That truly is fantastic! But for each one of them there are dozens of small groups who, despite a smaller reach, are still making important impacts in the lives of animals.
The Starfish Effect
We stand firmly behind our philosophy of The Starfish Effect: that every single act matters. No matter how small the group is, if they are working to help animals, then they are making a positive impact in the world. And that is why we have chosen to blog about their importance for today’s Be the Change post.
So what can you do? Go out and help! Find out what local groups in your area need the most help and whether it’s through a monetary donation or one of time, you can support them. Even the smallest rescue can make a big difference to one animal.
Filed under: Be The Change, Causes, Opinion Article on April 15th, 2011 | 3 Comments »