Download a high-resolution copy of this press release detailing Help a Buddy's winter fundraisers that are supporting three local animal welfare groups.
A lot can happen in a year, and what a year it has been. We recognize that 2020 was a rollercoaster ride for most of us, with a large amount of it being a single steep drop to an almost-crash landing due to a single word: pandemic. But we aren't here to talk about the valleys of the ride today. Help a Buddy had a ton of loop-de-loops and giant cheers on the coaster that was 2020. Come celebrate our journey with us!
Becoming a Household Name
2020 started with a stronger effort to connect with those who support animals' rights to a pain-free, healthy and happy lifestyle. We added to our volunteer base to bolster our social media and introduced Meet-Me-Mondays as an effort to highlight permanent or long-term fosters in care of animal rescue groups who needed some cross-exposure on social media. We still continue our #MeetMeMonday posts as submissions are given. As face-to-face interaction became limited in March of 2020, we worked behind the scenes to reach as much of our audience as we can so that one day, Help a Buddy can be universally recognized as a ally to Albertan rescues.
Becoming a Registered Charity
2020 was the year Help a Buddy achieved registered status as a charity in Canada. In the roller coaster of 2020, this is the moment we raised our arms above our head and let out a big WOOP. Becoming a charity was the highlight of our year because it meant we could begin assisting our rescue heroes in a substantial financial capacity. The goal for Help a Buddy was always to establish a granting program to help qualified rescues secure funding for especially large veterinary bills or the high cost of other supplies needed for the animals they cared for. Prior to becoming a charity, we needed to distribute funds from small fundraisers directly to the rescues we wanted to support, but with this change in status, we could actively seek large donations to our grants and pool money from multiple fundraisers to make a larger impact for animals in need at a single point in time.
Around the same time our charitable status was received, our President was experiencing the sudden emotional loss of her beloved shih-tzu, Bella, and so the Bella Bucks stream of our grant was developed with a specific look into supporting emergency surgeries for animals within care of an animal rescuer.
In October, we hosted an online silent auction in support of ARTS Senior Animal Rescue, in which we were able to donate over $1200 directly to the rescue, while reserving some proceeds for our grant program. We have currently raised over $1500 in donations towards our two grants, to be distributed in April of 2021.
It is difficult to make resolutions without knowing what 2021 will bring, but we are confident we can forge ahead to continue to make a difference in our community. Here are some of the Help a Buddy Fund's goals for the new year:
How You Can Help
Goals are best achieved through teamwork. So here are three things we are asking you to do to help make our resolutions a bit easier:
Attend our volunteer orientation on January 2, 2021.
Learn more about some of the ways you can help us to be bigger and better, and best support animals in need. Contact us to join our Zoom meeting where we can discuss these opportunities.
We are looking to be the animal rescue hero ally
We are continuously looking for partners in our animal rescue heroes. If you feel like your group can use a boost with assistance in a current fundraiser or event you are planning, our team is here to lend volunteers. Likewise, if you just don't have time to plan an event or fundraiser, we'd love to include you in our next one! Contact us and we'll be sure to work together to ensure optimal care of the animals you support.
If you are a local business wanting to do good, we want to hear from you
Please get in touch with us and we can develop a meaningful partnership. We would love to team up to develop any number of partnerships, whether it is financial, designed for event-hosting, cross-promotion, or more.
Until Next Year...
We look forward to what lays ahead. We certainly hope you'll come along for the ride. Until then, take a tip from Ambassador Scrappy and make sure to stay healthy with plenty of naps!
The year of 2020 has given many of us time to reflect about our priorities regarding shopping habits this holiday season. At the same time, the current pandemic has severely impacted animal rescue groups in their fundraising efforts, which have typically relied on face-to-face interaction. Here at Help a Buddy Fund, we believe in supporting those who are working hard to lift others up. We've compiled a list of some places you can both shop local this gift-giving season, and help the animals you love dearly to have their basic needs met.
Virtual Silent Auctions
Virtual silent auctions are a great way to support animal rescues in a safe and contactless environment. You can find a variety of really cute gifts this way. Here are just a few rescues who are fundraising through a virtual silent auction in the upcoming days:
Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART)
Basset Rescue Edmonton
ARTS Senior Animal Rescue
Online Holiday Markets
Similar to the virtual auction, you can simply just buy items handmade by local crafters at one of the virtual holiday markets hosted on Facebook. Paws in Need Animal Rescue Society is hosting theirs on December 3-6.
Finally, if you aren't the gift-giving type, but are still looking to be charitable this season with a chance to make spending money, consider joining an online 50/50 draw. Currently, Second Chance Animal Rescue Society has a 50/50 draw taking place to support their many foster animals.
On April 3, 2019, Alberta's animal welfare community earned just one more piece of recognition for a job well done.
To our rescue heroes:
One year ago, three women created a not-for-profit with big goals to become a shoulder to lean on when our rescue heroes are unable to shoulder the weight they carry. We aim to offer reprieve through support and resources, and to become a connecting piece that helps make rescue work even just a little bit easier in the future.
What happened in our first year?
As we celebrate our first birthday, we reflect on some of the great things we have accomplished. We established a relationship we hope to continue in the future with Calican Rescue. We have worked to identify four more charitable rescues to collaborate with in the upcoming year as well.
We have also expanded our team. We are so happy to introduce Madi, our Social Media Coordinator to Help a Buddy Fund's supporters. She is an absolute animal lover and brings such positive energy to our small, but mighty, team. Madi has a skill for engaging with our audience and you can be sure to interact with her as the new voice of the Fund.
What can you look forward to?
You can expect to see Help a Buddy Fund engaging with the public more often as we plan some further collaborations and event attendance.
So far, we are scheduled to attend Muttstock on July 4, 2020. Muttstock is a music and dog festival dedicated to raising community awareness for animal rescue and supporting the many rescues in Alberta! Their purpose aligns perfectly with Help a Buddy's, and we are so excited for the opportunity to join this event as a supporter of all things rescue!
This is a free festival to attend, with attendees encouraged to bring a cat or dog food donation for the Boyle Street Pet Food bank. Activities include family and dog friendly activities: vendors, demonstrations, and information from all over the Edmonton area. Some funding will be raised at the festival for participating animal rescue groups.
Keep your eyes peeled for further events that we will attend in hopes to help bolster the much-needed resources in the animal welfare community.
As the year comes to a close, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you, Help a Buddy Fund's supporters, for joining us on our journey in our first year of operations. We've accomplished so many things in a short eight months and we hope to ramp up our support for animal welfare groups even more in 2020.
We hosted our first pet food drive this Thanksgiving, helping local Edmonton rescue, Calican, to secure enough food to help with their 17 fosters for many meals - long-term foster, Joey being one of them.
We also built some community connections with a local grocery store (Belmont Sobeys), pet food store (Bone and Biscuit 50th Street Market) and our own community (Bannerman Community League) as we spread the word about the good work we are hoping to achieve in supporting rescuers with animals in long-term care.
This holiday season, I want to extend my gratitude to those who have supported us as a start up not-for-profit. Your kind hearts have warmed mine every day, knowing that we have you silently (or loudly) cheering us on as our animal rescue heroes save lives every day and we continue to work to show them they are recognized and valued. I am wishing you and your families the warmest of hugs over the holidays and hope that you will join me in looking forward to a new year that brings further opportunities to become the kindest souls we can be.
Follow us on social media, and let us know how we're doing. We will keep you abreast of any new developments in 2020.
Thanks for a great year.
President, Help a Buddy Fund