This week, we received an unexpected and terrific call! One of our Facebook fans and a strong site supporter said kids at a local high school were “adopting” our site and were adding their names to our Facebook Fan page. The kids love that the sole focus of this site is reuniting lost and found pets with their families! We couldn’t be prouder of these kids! It really opened our eyes that kids could be a real force for helping pets and shelters across the country. Think about it. We’re use to thinking of fund-raising for shelters and animal causes in very “adult” terms. We seek ”adult” donations and “adult” grants. We’re so very “adult-focused” in our fund-raising models. It’s serious business, right? But what if we harnessed the power of kids and college students to generate funds for shelters and animal causes across the county? How big could that be? What kind of creativity and energy could kids bring to saving these pets and helping shelters nationwide? The short answer is “lots”. In recent years, we know college students have mobilized into powerful “online” political fundraisers; they’ve been credited with impacting more than a few highly publicized elections in this country. Based on this, we went looking for kids who “financially” rescued a shelter and we found them in Columbia, Missouri. Inside Columbia Magazine dubbed them, The Million-Dollar Girls and here’s their story.
Amanda Huhman and Libby Burks were volunteers at the Central Missouri Humane Society in Columbia, Missouri. Reportedly, the shelter was in bad financial straits. The kids loved this place! One of the girls remembered seeing a contest offering a shelter makeover worth up to $1M million and together, they decided to win the contest. Pause here and seriously consider, how many adults would even think they had a chance at winning such a dream? The contest was sponsored by the terrific folks at ZooToo.com. The short story is, the girls signed on more than 11,000 people to support their contest efforts and they won! In the process, they were first over 850 other competing shelters. So which is more significant? The fact these kids dreamed big, moved mountains and won or the fact only 850 shelters competed, given there are thousands and thousands of shelters across the country? Kids are imaginative, fearless and hopeful, that’s why they can achieve such great things for these pets! So how did they do it? They handed out treat bags with contest information outside stores, they spoke at local groups and schools to ignite a passion, they visited nursing homes and helped folks register in the contest and they got the local media – print and radio – completely behind them. They started a grassroots movement that took off. The shelter completely mobilized with them as the kids lead the way. The entire shelter staff, the girls and their supporters carried the passion home. These girls and the shelter deserve the biggest praise we can give them. Today, the girls have a pet series on YouTube. Reportedly, the girls will also head a new Junior Board at the shelter. So how old were these girls when they achieved this feat? They were seventh-graders! We give our heart-felt congratulations to Amanda, Libby, the CMHS staff/volunteers and their wonderful supporters! We specifically salute CMHS for strongly promoting the involvement of kids, to change things for pets on such a large scale.
This site is a big believer in contests and we will continue to sponsor them. We greatly appreciate our site members and supporters! Keep sharing those great ideas with us. We are a nationwide community, thanks to you!