The Season of Giving

This is the season of giving for so many people around the world. A beautiful time of year; a celebration of life, love, family, and friends.  Many take this time to give back to those in need, and to organizations helping the less fortunate in their communities.

Something important I always like to look at, before giving, is where the money goes. Many national organizations have much smaller portions of their donations going to help their cause than they do going to pay their CEOs and advertising costs.

I wish I could say this is not true of some of the well known animal advocacy organizations and sanctuaries, but I cannot; for some, not even half of the money given by their donors goes to animal rescue, or animal care.

Another thing I like to know is that no one is left out when it comes to who an organization employees or helps. Many discriminate against people of other faiths, orientations, genders, and gender identities to name a few. Helping people means helping all who suffer, not just the ones like us, or who agree with us. Helping animals means helping all who suffer, not just the cute ones and ones who make good stories.

I always thought I looked closely at any non-profit I gave to, until I began volunteering regularly with one. Now I look at everything! I want to know that if directors are being paid, the organization is generating enough money to fully fulfill their mission, and the pay is a small amount of the total taken in. I want to know that when they are paying someone, it's the best and  brightest, and that this paid person has generated more funds to help many more people or animals. I want to know that the paid positions are there for providing care, assistance, and maintenance to keep people and animals comfortable and safe. I want to know that there is no discrimination within the organization in hiring practices, treatment of employees, and care given to others. I want to know that any animal rights/rescue organization I support is helping those in the most danger; and that would be farm animals, as they make up 98% of the animals killed in the US every year.

While some organizations simply say no to helping when they are at capacity, or have nothing left to give others; Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary says, “we may not be able to help immediately, but let us help find you someone who can!” When other organizations jump in without preparation, taking massive donations, then taking in more animals than they even have available shelter; Cotton Branch takes only those for whom we have room, but we still help find shelter, care, and placement for those we can't take in. See the number one commitment at Cotton Branch is to the residents in our care; we also realize our commitment to the greater good of helping those who feel abandoned by other rescues and sanctuaries when their requests for help are rejected,  ignored, or simply left unanswered.

We are working with other sanctuaries and rescues to help them implement this same process within their networks, after all, who wants to say no? We have some amazing partners at sanctuaries in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, and New York who have helped with transport, foster, and placement. This is what it is about: saving animals. We all must work together to accomplish this goal!

This holiday season I ask you to give to Cotton Branch Farm Animal Sanctuary because we are a transparent, welcoming, grassroots, feet on the ground, volunteer ran 501(c)(3) organization who not only care for nearly 200 permanent residents, but have also saved, through transport and placement, 150 additional animals in need this year!

I wish each of you a wonderful season, and great 2017!

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