|DENISE THEN AND NOW|
I edit the blog for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. My blog posts also are shared on the Facebook page for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. I've been doing this since 2008 at a rate of about 300 posts per year. I applied for a Community Champion Award for this volunteer work through my employer, ThomsonReuters, and received a donation of $1000 for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. I wish it had been more money, but I wanted to share this information for two reasons:
1. Karen made me write this post (and include the old photo), and
2. I hope others will also volunteer and seek donations and recognition for RLRR.
At my company, I am able to volunteer two paid eight-hour days a year and I usually help at a clinic or drive a transport for RLRR. The company matches my charitable donations annually up to $1000 a year and I donate as much as I can to RLRR. There is also a Dollars for Doers program for which the company will donate up to $1000 for volunteer time to a non-profit, like RLRR.
I encourage you all to seek out these and similar opportunities to maximize your ability to support RLRR or another organization that you believe needs and deserves that support.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: (Describe the organization you work with, outlining its history, purpose, who it serves and where it is based.)Since 2006, Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue (RLRR) has been a 501(c)(3) companion animal rescue located on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. It is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization with a shelter for abandoned or surrendered dogs and cats on the Reservation. The board of the organization consists of Native people living on the Reservation. Reservation residents contact RLRR for help with their animals or to report an abused or injured animal. After a temporary stay at the shelter, all of animals are transferred to one of the dozens of rescues that support our mission throughout Minnesota and into Wisconsin for foster care and adoption.
COMMUNITY NEED: (What is the community need? Describe why this cause is needed or what the community need this cause is supporting):
Overpopulation of unwanted companion animals has been a longstanding problem on the Reservation due to the lack of availability of veterinary services and the extreme poverty of the residents. Following the Red Lake massacre in 2005, when a 16-year-old shot and killed ten people and wounded five others, a local Native woman was moved to do something positive for her people. She began to rescue homeless pets, which grew into Red Lake Rosie's Rescue (RLRR). As others were inspired to support her efforts with donations, she was able to supply food and provide medical care in emergency situations. Now funds are raised to host spay/neuter clinics with mobile units and veterinary staff coming from the Twin Cities area. RLRR also provides humane education for the care of companion animals at the local schools and when young people volunteer at the clinics or the shelter. Because RLRR does not adopt out animals, no adoption fees are received as income. All money to support RLRR is in the form of grants and donations.
COMMITMENT: (Describe your support of and commitment to this project and organization, including time, fundraising, and financial commitments.):
I created a blog (or online journal) for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue (RLRR) in January 2008 and have written/edited nearly 2000 posts since then – an average of over 300 per year – and I estimate that the average post takes an hour to prepare. In March of 2011, I started a Facebook page for RLRR and my blog posts are also displayed there. I receive information from many sources, but I edit and release each post on the blog. Other volunteers also contribute occasionally to the Facebook page. Typically I receive multiple e-mails containing information and photos that I must combine and edit to make sense in a concise post about a particular animal or event. I strategically include photos and try to write headlines that catch the eye when I can.
IMPACT: (Describe the impact or outcomes of this project.)The growth of viewership of the blog and Facebook has increased steadily. We started with a handful of views each day and now see several thousand views of the posts on a regular basis. The posts help us to raise funds and place animals with rescues. A post this week about the severe problem with wood ticks and deer ticks had nearly 6,000 views on Facebook and we are receiving the medications we needed. A few months ago, a dog was attacked with a knife and left for dead in the snow. That story had a record 70,000 views on the blog. Red Lake Rosie's Rescue created a model for companion animal rescue on the Reservation and it is already being replicated on the neighboring Leech Lake Reservation. Sharing the news of our accomplishments is critical to extending our impact as far as possible.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL GROWTH: (Describe your personal and professional growth and/or skill development as part of this project.)I have worked for West Publishing and Thomson/Reuters for over 26 years, first designing and maintaining the CD-ROM products, then designing new databases for Westlaw and most recently I am in a more traditional role editing a complex print/Westlaw product. Certainly the skills I have learned and used at work have helped me in creating and editing a blog and Facebook page for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. The volunteer work is time-consuming, but it is extremely rewarding to be able to publish information about this remarkable organization. My posts are a window into the organization for both the residents of the Reservation and the people on the outside who would like to offer help as donors or volunteers.