Like it or not, a lot of time is spent in the nonprofit world trying to come up with good fundraising ideas, and anyone who tells you it’s not true is feeding you a line of bull hockey.
I, for one, would much rather be protesting the abuse of dogs or single-handedly rescuing thousands of dogs from chains and having them magically trained, vetted, and into new homes, but the fact remains without keeping a roof over our rescue dogs’ heads and staff to care for said dogs daily, none of my daydreams of ending the chaining of dogs will ever come true.
Damn you, reality.
A couple of weeks ago staff member Julie hit me with the shoe collection fundraising idea, which I had heard of before. This idea sounds great in theory because you collect gently used shoes from all your supporters and they get sent overseas to those in need. Nifty.
Admittedly, the last place we need shoes is the American landfills, AND the fundraiser helps people in developing nations so it’s a win win—until you realize that you have to collect 3 bazillion pairs of shoes to actually raise any money.
Me: “Don’t you have to collect 3 bazillion pairs of shoes to make that fundraiser worthwhile?”
Julie: “Actually, it’s 300 bags of 25 pairs of shoes. So 7,500. Nowhere near 3 bazillion.”
Me: “Still. Wouldn’t I rather poke my eye out with a hot poker?” (That’s not the saying, is it. That’s redundant so it’s not very funny.)
Julie, pouting: “Fine, whatever.”
A little while later Julie pops back up: “What if we filled one of Vick’s dogfighting sheds with the shoes?” (You do know Dogs Deserve Better owns Vick’s former dogfighting compound, right? If not, now you do. You can read more about it here: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/ddbcenter.html)
Me, interest piqued, wheels turning: “Now you’re talking my language. Go on.”
Julie: “Well, with Nike re-signing Vick, and people wanting to boycott Nike because of it…AND, therefore, wanting to get rid of their Nike’s…wouldn’t they maybe just send them along to us?
“We could take the used Nike’s and whatever other shoes people send us and fill up one of the dogfighting sheds before we send them off to be put to good use…
“And with all the publicity lately about football players and the NFL beating their wives, kids, girlfriends, animals, stuffed flamingos (yeah, I made that last one up), and DDB taking these Nike’s and other shoes and sending them to those most in need; well, it just seems symbolic to me.”
Me: “I like it! Combining an activist move WITH fundraising. Brilliant.”
The photo you see below is one of the promo photos for this fundraiser and campaign. The Nike’s are hanging from the wooden beam where Vick and his friends initially wrote “TBK” which meant Too Bad Kennels. But then they changed the name of their dogfighting ring to Bad Newz Kennels, so you can see written overtop the initials “BNK” in yellow.
This beam held the dogs firmly in place via leash or chain while they were forced to walk on a wheel that turned on the axle you can still see pictured below. Most of the stuff was removed for evidence, but the axle and beam still remain.
I can’t wait to see this entire room filled with shoes that are meant for the greater good and will not end up in a landfill!
Will you help us by dropping off or sending along your new or gently used Nikes and any other shoes you no longer need or want?
We only need to collect 7,500 pairs of shoes. Or 3 bazillion…whichever comes first. No pressure.
Our address is Dogs Deserve Better, 1915 Moonlight Rd., Smithfield, VA 23430. For more information on how you can get more involved to make this a reality, call Julie at 757-357-9292 or drop her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, we’re issuing a public challenge to Nike to send along some shoes of their own to benefit the dogs of Dogs Deserve Better, who spent their lives on chains before coming to rescue with us, AND women and children in developing nations who might not have a pair of shoes to call their own.
Do you think Nike will rise to the challenge and donate any shoes to fill the fighting shed? Sound off here!
P.S. If you’re like me and would rather poke your eye out than collect shoes and mail them in (but I will collect shoes, to be noted!), we do take donations the old fashioned way…with the click of a mouse. And the signing of a check. And the push of a button.
Dogs Deserve Better is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Here’s a link to the media release. http://www.expertclick.com/NRWire/Releasedetails.aspx?id=61347
P.S.S. Oh, and as a special gift to you for reading today, a pic of my dog Sloan, who was rescued from his chain in 2011, trying to frantically get the grass out of his teeth—all the while denying to me that he was eating grass. Love it.
Every dog deserves the simple pleasure of eating grass and throwing up on their family’s carpet. Most chained dogs don’t even have grass to eat…because they’ve worn down their patch of ‘home’ to just mud. True story. We all know they deserve so much better.