Many things! Lots of things! You do not have to have a ton of time or a ton of money to make a difference.
Here's 7 things you can do right now:
1. – SPREAD THE WORD
Go onto our site and check out the Upcoming Events link.
Email that info and link to your friends and coworkers as often as you can.
Print it out and hang up the info at your office or community bulletin board.
Link the shelter website onto your website. Most likely, you have a website. Do you have a blog? Got a facebook page? Myspace? Ebay listings? Business website? Yahoo profile? MSN Live profile? Are you on classmates or reunion or linked or anything? Well... Link us!
Do you have an area business?
You could hang flyers to our events in your front window. (We often include them with our twice-a-month emailer. Or you can make your own!)
You could put a donation can or even a food donation bin in your storefront.
2 - ORGANIZE YOUR OWN FUNDRAISER!
It doesn’t have to be a big thing.
Are you having everyone over for a Birthday Party, Holiday Get Together or a little barbecue?
Put right in your email invites –
“Please bring one can of dog or cat food for the Pike County Humane Society!”
or “We’re asking our guests to donate $2 each to the PCHS in lieu of gifts.”
You’d be surprised. Those 12 cans of food you gather, or that $20 you collect could help save an unwanted animal’s life.
Think you want to take on something a little bigger? Wonderful! Have a little bake sale, or a tag sale. Invite your neighbors to join you in a yard sale where the proceeds or a percentage of the profits go to the shelter. Sponsor a photography contest, or a poetry contest. Have a hot cider or lemonade stand. You probably have an idea already!
Maybe you have your own small business. Could you pick a product from which you could donate a dollar of each sale?
One of our favorite members does a candle sale for us every year! She raises money by selling candles to people and sending us the proceeds. A wonderful group of local realtors organized Realtors to the Rescue, and had a cocktail party in our honor. They charged admission, raffled off some prizes, and raised a couple thousand dollars! Local students have held successful educational events such as Pennies for Puppies. The YMCA after school group had a lemonade stand and donated $45! Area bands have had concerts, and motorcycle clubs have had their own runs where proceeds were given to us. The Cinder Inn has an annual Memorial Day Concert for us! Most recently Altec Lansing raffled off some products to their employees, sending the money raised to Safe Haven, and The Pike County Humane Society.
And speaking of Safe Haven, every year they have a costume parade and costume contest "Mutts & Meows" with us to help benefit both worthy causes, which often working closely together.
Every dollar helps.
3 – VOLUNTEER
We need volunteers of all kinds. We need people to come up to the physical shelter and help us clean. Help us take care of the buildings and grounds, help us create and maintain a safe and wonderful haven for the animals.
We also need volunteers at our fund raisers. Could you help hand out information, sell hotdogs, and walk pets at adoption events? Could you bake us some brownies for our next bake sale?
Email our new Volunteer Coordinator Phyllis at firstname.lastname@example.org
4 – DONATE
It’s convenient with the PAYPAL link. Or you can drop a couple dollars in our area donation cans. You can pick up a case of canned cat food or dog food and bring it up to the shelter, or drop it off at an area food deposit like the Grand Union in Milford PA. Think about it: if just everyone that reads this could donate $5 imagine how many animals we could feed!!
New items and gift certificates are always needed for our fundraisers! We have basket bingos, tricky trays, raffles, silent auctions and door prizes at different events. Did you get two crock pots at your wedding shower? Did your mother in law get your taste all wrong with her holiday gifts to you? Did you see a nice deal on a new Dirt Devil at Kmart? Do you have some new items your shop is discontinuing? Donate these items to help us have successful fundraisers.
Here's an easy one! Can you donate some home made cookies or muffins to a bake sale? We have bake sales all the time, most often in conjunction with another fundraiser like a tricky tray, spaghetti dinner, or off site pet adoption day. This is a great way for us to raise a few dollars for the animals and make the event all the sweeter ;)
Obviously, monetary donations are always a tremendous help. We need to pay very large veterinary bills every month. We spay and neuter the animals in our care. We make sure none of our pets have worms, fleas or ticks. We rabies vaccinate and do other testings and vaccinations as well. We have medical evaluations performed and we have to make sure we provide medical treatment for the animals that need it.
Additionally, we have to pay for electric and gas, garbage pick up, snow removal, and other operating costs. We have to pay for food and grooming. We need cleaning supplies, and office supplies. We need to maintain our vans and put gas in their tanks so we can bring pets to the vet and back. We have to make sure the shelter is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We have to maintain the buildings and the grounds so that the animals in our care are always safe.
It costs about $6,000 a week to keep this shelter running. Several area municipalities contribute a few hundred dollars every year which helps. Some contribute nothing. What does your community contribute? The Pike County Commissioners in the past have contributed $4,000 a year. We are grateful for these contributions. But please realize - they do not even cover one week’s worth of expenses....
5 – MAKE YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS LISTEN
Write to your senators, your congressman, your govenor, and your most importantly your county commissioners. Demand that they support this shelter. TELL THEM all the things this shelter does for the county - things that would NOT be done at all without us.
Your vote is your voice. You have the power to make them listen. Attend your municipality or township meetings, and ask what your elected officials are doing to support the only animal shelter and animal response assistance in the county. Make sure they know you aren’t going to support them in their elections if they don’t support us.
6 – COME TO THE EVENTS
We try to have different kinds of fund raisers for you to enjoy. From the tricky trays to the spaghetti dinners, your whole family can usually come out for a few hours of fun for a minimal donation to a very worthy cause. Come to the events. Spread the word. Show your support.
7 – BE A RESPONSIBLE PET OWNER
Don’t forget, one of the best things you can do for us is to open your home to a shelter pet.
And, to insure that your pets, no matter where they came from, do not become shelter pets.
Your pets are your commitment and responsibility.
Take that responsibility with the utmost seriousness.
Make sure your pets are happy and healthy and safe. Obey licensing and leash laws. Make sure your pets have the rabies and other vaccinations and annual tests they require to live a happy healthy life. Always neuter or spay your pets, like we do. Do not support puppy mills. Make sure your pets are on a healthy vet-approved diet. Dogs need to be heartworm tested, and they need flea & tick, and heartworm prevention. Do not contribute to the disease and parasite problems in our area. Do not let your pets run loose.
Do not turn your back on your pet. Pets get sick, get old, need training, need help... it is part of your promise to them to care for them through those times. Set a worthy example for your children by showing them the meaning of responsibility and commitment. Do not throw your pet away if it becomes "inconvenient." What are you teaching your children?
And if you aren't in a place where you can make a full and serious commitment to a pet, then don't have any. Your treatment of your pet is important to shaping how your children view living creatures, old age, illness, commitment and responsibility, as well as contributing to the health and well being of the entire community.