Help Us Fund The New CARE Welcome Center!
CARE is currently enjoying it's 10th year in operation, and we have been so incredibly fortunate to have had the tremendous support that YOU have given us over the last decade! As CARE grows, in order to best provide for the animals that call CARE home, our needs change and grow as well. One of our biggest needs today is a new Welcome Center. This center will serve several functions that will make CARE a more successful and sustainable organization. Here are just a few things that the new Welcome Center will provide:
1. A Visitor Center - right now visitors have nowhere to wait for their tours to start or sit and relax afterwards that is safely outside of the compound! Currently visitors are allowed into the Vet Center to wait and use the restrooms. However, this really is not the purpose of that building. The Vet Center serves as not only the critical care facility for sick/elderly animals and animals recovering from surgery, but it is also our intern housing. Both the animals and our interns need a quiet space to call their own when they are tired or stressed. This also means that, being inside the gates, a CARE staff member must be there with our visitors at all times while they wait or use the restrooms, taking them away from other essential activities. The new Welcome Center will be a safe, indoor/outdoor area where visitors can sit down, talk, refresh themselves, and browse CARE merchandise and information.
The Vet Center where the interns live and where sick/injured/recovering animals are kept - there is immediate access to all of the animals' enclosures from the Vet Center - not a great place to have people waiting unattended.
2. An Administrative Office - Currently CARE itself does not have a office where directors and volunteers can conduct business effectively. Our Executive Director, Heidi, has an office in the living room of her personal residence at CARE. This means board meetings are held there, special visitors to CARE are entertained there, and volunteers come in and out to discuss CARE business. Heidi and her family have been extremely welcoming and gracious in opening up their home to a multitude of people, but it is taxing on them and not the best environment for CARE's staff to get things done. The new Welcome Center would also have a private office where staff can focus, and a family's personal space is not invaded.
3. A specialized animal enclosure - Many of you have followed the trials and tribulations of our snow leopard, Arctic. At this point his needs require almost constant monitoring. Unfortunately, Arctic may never be able to return to his regular enclosure on a permanent basis. Without close monitoring, we will lose him. But, keeping him in a transport cage in the house is not a good solution either (for him or Heidi and her family-Arctic is not a pet and should not be in the house, but it is the only place we can keep an eye on him right now). Right now he is laboriously being moved back and forth from his enclosure to the house every few days. He needs a special full-time space, close to his constant caregivers (it will be adjacent to the main house), with more room and outside access so he can get fresh air and exercise. This area will not just be for Arctic. If his condition ever changes, or as will happen one day, when he is no longer with us we could use the space for any other special needs resident of CARE.
Now, we have done our research and we estimate this building will cost $20,000 to complete. We are assuming that the labor will be done with no or minimal cost, so $20K is a steal for a project like this! We have also been given a huge gift by our long-term supporters at the Dallas Furry Convention, who provide us critical funding every year. We are ear-marking $5,000 dollars from their annual gift this year specifically for this project.
Additionally, our Operations Director Derek has a HUGE following on the social media app Vine (over 280,000 followers). He has personally asked all his followers to help support this project by donating $5,000 in his #squeakstrike campaign. You can see his fundraising efforts and progress here: http://www.gofundme.com/carewelcomeproject.
So, that leaves us with only $10,000 to raise and we have 3 WEEKS to do it! If we can accomplish this, everyone that is a part of CARE including staff and supporters, will benefit. This is game changing for us, so please donate today to help us reach this goal by May 25th!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support past, present, and future!