Saturday, 9 February 2013

Collecting and distributing over 240 Tons of life saving aid for the strays of Romania, how we accomplished that?

Because we are a small charity trying to do a large charities job, and are very much a minority in the UK as we focus on helping the animals of Romania. We have to work so very hard to gain support let alone help towards the animals we are trying to help. So, because we are a little different to most UK charities, we have to sometimes think outside of the box.

We know all too well that times are very tough on everyone, and if you rely solely on donations to survive a small charity like us will go down the pan, and the strays that are relying so heavily on us to not let them down, we simply could not afford to sit back and give up.

So, we sit back and had to rethink how could we increase the help we were providing for the strays without having to rely solely on financial support? We already were struggling paying the huge costs of transports, vet bills, food bills and so on...To add something else to our bow could possibly have a negative effect.

The answer was staring us in the face, from experience it is easier for a group of people to band together and collect specific items rather than relying on one or two people to send a financial donation. This is when we started to appeal for aid, the actual goods that we would normally struggle to buy.  The response was amazing, so many people wanted desperately to help but because of financial restrictions they were unable to do so....But now we had provided them an avenue where they could do something. They were able to approach family and friends, local vets and pet food companies to feed the starving dogs and cats. Those that could sew approached hotels and bric a brac shops for materials to hand make dog coats and beds.

In a matter of weeks the same kind hearted souls who previously felt useless to help the strays were out there and filing up their boots and vans. It was simply amazing.

However, it was up to us to get that precious aid to where it was needed most. How on earth were we going to do that without it costing us thousands every month? What we did was start to organise our own transports, we were paying so much already to companies to do what we were more than able to do.

We had the network and connections and it was realised how we could save our charity money by organising our own transports at half the cost of what we were previously paying, but when the cages were empty from when adopters collected the dogs and cats from us, we then would simply fill that space with the aid....all this worked beautifully. In fact, it is because of all this that last year alone our charity collected and distributed over 240 tons of food, medical treatment, bedding and so on.

There was one huge downfall to what would seem like a iron clad plan....Time and resources! In reality AAFA are a few main trustees and a handful of wonderful volunteers, we simply did not have the time to take on all this and still fundraise to pay for things that could not be donated but were needed urgently. Things such as vet care, funding for rescues and so on.

We looked for so many ways that we could allocate our time to organising transports and collecting aid, but also to maintain the focus on fundraising to ensure bills were paid. Gift aid was the answer...

Each transport we fill with our own rescued Rommies but sometimes there are spaces left empty.  What we did was drop the donation adoption fee and simply as the adopters to donate towards the transport cost of there new family member. Because the monies are a donation we were allowed to claim gift aid...and this was the key to allow us not just to get the rescues Rommies out of Romania to safe loving homes, but to get life saving aid back to the ones left behind and... also raise funds for the ones that need treatment and financial support.the they say is history.

Because of the initiatives above, last year alone we were able to help:
  • 1,038 rescued animals to find safety in the United Kingdom and other areas of Europe.
  • To collect and distribute over 240 tons of aid to help the starving and rescued animals
  •  To financially donate over £12,000 towards veterinary care to save the lives/treat victims of animal abuse and cruelty

Please help us to continue our work, to help us save the lives of so very many that need us.

CLICK HERE for a list of aid that is so desperately needed, and if you can help contact Val Guy by emailing her and she can advise you of the drop off points where we can then collect from you to distribute to the animals who need it the most.

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