Friday, April 13, 2007
To regular readers, it is clear I also have a love of animals, and have tried to find creative ways to support them. The outpourings of support from people, many strangers to me, is always heartwarming. But rather than just asking people to donate money if they are able, I realize that I have an asset I can give back - art. I feel good that I have donated my originals and usage rights to many animal related causes over the years - most dealing with animals, but also Planned Parenthood and environmental issues. Those are my big three. I get many requests, but I focus on those three, and will continue to.
So I am trying something new - art raffles. Many people would love to own an original, but they are expensive. Most everyone can afford the $10 minimum entry with the possibility of winning an original piece of art, assuming they want and like that piece of art. The money collected will be used for various causes, spelled out on the store buy page. It will always focus on animals, or nature, but mainly animals. This month, I am having two raffles - one to FINALLY begin the legal process of becoming a 501C for my animal work. Originally I was focusing on the ferels, but I want to include animals in general. I want my 501C to educate and teach respect for animals and to share the joy and compassion animals bring to us. Watching a child pet a horse or donkey for the first time - it starts a process for that child about interacting with animals on a respectful level. I also want to work with elderly people and bring my donkey to them, or have outings here. Ever since working with Rose, a 95 year old woman who lived in a home, I have learned the great gifts of this exchange. I would take my pug there weekly - she had a pug in her earlier life- and she got so much out of it. But so did I. One day, we arrived for our visit, and she had died the night before. I was happy for her - she had wanted to die, but said for me and Billy. We have many elderly people visit our open farm days, and they often get emotional seeing the animals, as the animals make them so happy - many of them lived on farms or had animals but now are home bound and can't have pets let alone a horse or equine. When I am old, I hope I die on the land, but if I can't, I ask my guides to please bring me a donkey to touch, or a cat to sit with me, or drive me somewhere so I can once again smell a horse.
My 501C will take effort to set it up - the paper work alone can take months. It will require legal advice, accountants and time. So this initial raffle will help me with that. I have been told to estimate $400-$2000 for set-up costs, hopefully on the lower end. A 501 C will allow donations to be tax deductible, help me with legal issues, and help me get grants someday. I just know Pino Blangiforti and I can make this work, and help others - animals and people. I think I need 3 officers in the organization chart - even the IRS doesn't spell out "And it can't be a donkey".
I am not getting rich on donations, by the way- which awkwardly seems to be an impression of some - perhaps because we live on a 'farm', perhaps because I am an artist..."She MUST have a trust fund to do that"...The money I collected over the past couple years for cat donations was spent 100% on cats. I have never profited financially from any of it. But I want to take my efforts a bit higher and make it a bit more professional, and a 501 C will say that.
So, to help raise funds to start the 501C process [I tentatively call it Donkey Dreams], go to to this raffle page for directions - April 30th is the deadline.
The Buttercup the Cow painting is being raffled
to help support the fight against sub-developments in zoned farmland. Many of you know we and our neighbor farms are fighting just such a case. We've all donated, in time and money, but if you want to help in the fight, especially if you are an Oregonian, please do so. The money will be sent to the the attorney who is representing the neighborhood and the Friends of Yamhill who have coordinated the appeals on this case.
Deadline is April 30th.
"I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear...And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen." T.T. Williams