A Note from the Editor
Piper working on the Newsletter
In this, the first FFGW Newsletter of 2017, we’re looking back at our successes and efforts in 2016, and plotting a course for 2017. As we have mentioned in the past issue, and recap here in the “Looking Forward” section, we continue to try to realign our operation to take advantage of our enormous opportunity having cats in the adoption center of the Leesburg PetSmart. We need your help more now than ever, with your humbling and generous donations, of course, and also with our efforts to build a crew of short term fosters so that we can keep our costs low, and with our efforts to find a fundraising coordinator.
The news at the end of the year has been encouraging – we have made great strides in reducing our outstanding vet bills, and with our focus on cats who have low medical costs and can go directly into our adoption center, we should be able to “right the ship” in 2017. But that still leaves us not quite being the organization that we wish to be. What kind of organization is FFGW? I think perhaps that question can be answered in a letter that I wrote in response to a bequest from the estate of a person whom we had never met. To our surprise, early last year, we received a check on behalf of a woman whose name we did not recognize. We learned that she was a great lover of animals, and had trusted two close friends to examine animal rescue organizations to find one worthy of receiving a small portion of her estate. In a letter, those friends told us that based on our all-volunteer corps, our careful stewardship of funds, and the character of our volunteers, they had selected us. And so we wrote back, and I tried to express the soul of the organizaton.
Although I am writing on behalf of the Board of FFGW, I must add a personal observation that I hope will confirm that her friends’ trust in the organization is well-placed. I have been involved in rescue for nearly 12 years, almost 10 of which were spent with another organization. Somewhat burnt out, I took a break from rescue not really intending to become again heavily involved. But then, a friend asked me to help FFGW, by doing something I had enjoyed, writing a newsletter for the organization in order to energize volunteers and to bring communication and outreach to adopters and supporters. Of course, if one is to write about an organization, one has to be involved to some extent so that the heart and soul of the group can be expressed in its own voice. In doing so, what I found was an organization of people not motivated by egos or any of the other less-than-positive factors that sometimes rear their heads in non-profits, an organization truly concerned with cats, and dedicated to nurturing the cats in their care until the cats were in loving homes. I found not an organization concerned simply about maximizing the number of adoptions; instead, I found an organization who would do what was right for a cat in its care even if that taxed funds, even if it meant taking a little longer to find an adoptive home. I have seen FFGW refuse to separate a bonded pair of cats, when someone was interested in just one, so that the remaining cat would not become depressed or grieve for his buddy. I have seen FFGW unhesitatingly pay for a kitten in its care to receive a costly operation that would enable him to live a long and happy life - instead of simply cutting its losses and concentrating on healthy kittens. When a cat is in our care, we do care, and I am proud to be a part of this organization and on its Board of Directors. This legacy will help us to continue this level of caring, and we are extremely grateful. Thank you so much for sharing her kindness with us.
We will continue to work hard in 2017 to be an organization worthy of your trust, your kindness, and your care, and we will continue to work hard to return to our core character where we do not hesitate to help the cats who need us most. If you didn’t manage to respond to our year end letter, there’s still time. If you have fundraising skills, or know someone who does – we’re only as far away as your “reply” button. From our entire Board of Directors, we thank you for your support over the years and especially the past few months. We wish you warm purrs and whisker twitches in 2017!