Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.
#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness. As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. http://www.givingtuesday.org
As a 501c3 organization, Pony Tales is registered and eligible to participate in this wonderful event. We have "customized" our event as #GivingShelterDay . We are in dire need of a larger barn here. We currently have just four stalls and more than 30 horses in our care. The stalls are used for the injured, the ill, the young, the very old, and those who are otherwise compromised, especially during the winter and inclement weather throughout the year. Right now, we are limited to how many of the special needs equines we can help because of this. Our barn is full as we speak, as it is nearly everyday of the year. While most horses are just fine at pasture with a shelter to go into should they choose, there are those that need the shelter and will not utilize it on their own. They will stand out in the freezing rain with their butts to the wind trying to shield their faces from the cold, rather than go into the shelter. This makes them susceptible to a myriad of health issues. The adult, healthy equines rarely have issues, but the young, the old, the timid, need the shelter that we can give them if we can offer them a stall to weather the storms.
A larger barn with more stalls will also allow us to bring in those that perhaps are not getting as much food as they need because they are too timid to go near the others. Not only is this a nutrition issue, but it also causes unnecessary stress on the equine and lack of food and stress such as this is very, very hard on a horse's body. There is nothing that will combat the effects of stress other than removing them from the stressful situation. With more stalls, we can bring in the more timid ones and let them eat in peace, making sure they are personally receiving all of the necessary nutrition in a stress-free environment.
Additionally, through our partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society Equine CARE http://www.kyhumane.org/horses, we are expecting the nurse mare orphans before winter's end. We can only hope that the horses needing the four stalls we currently have will be ready to move out of them by that time. If they are not, we fear we will not be able to help the most fragile and innocent of horses out there, simply because we cannot offer them stress-free shelter. We have taken in and rehomed more than a dozen of these orphans in the three short years since we opened our doors and to not be able to help anymore of them would be devastating to us...and them.
We are also unable to take in any special needs equines for quarantine purposes. Should there be an emergency call and the horse(s) are in such dire straits that they need a stall for immediate medical/psychological issues, we cannot provide this. Even if we could open-up a stall or two, we cannot place any horses from an unknown situation in the barn with our existing residents. The risk of disease is too high, while the stall walls are not. The adjoining stalls are divided only by a 4-foot wall partition. Neighboring horses can easily touch noses and spread disease.
Our plans are to build a bigger barn with at least 10 stalls available, including a foaling stall, an intensive care stall, a wash bay with heated water, a tack/supply room, a feed room, and an office. The existing 4-stall barn would then be used for quarantine. We currently rely on the space, the water, and the office of one of our board member's businesses. Our feed, our feed dishes, our water buckets, our hoses, our paperwork....everything...is cramped for space, is getting in the way of a profitable business (that often times supports us) and while we have been making it work, we are limited to what we can do here with the horses because of the operation of the business. It is difficult for us to allow volunteers (even though many ask) to come out and help because it is too difficult for those who are not familiar with the facility to navigate and move around. As such, it is a job best left up to the executive director and her husband. This means there is never a morning or an evening that they can "take off". This means that time that could be spent working with a horse or simply grooming them is eaten up by the chores because there is nobody else who can do them.
In the end, the list goes on and on about why the horses would benefit so much from a larger barn. We have a site located, we have a builder ready, we just need the materials. The amount we are asking for in our #GivingShelterDay campaign covers the materials and the builder. We will of course, still need stalls and the interior materials. To help purchase the materials needed to finish the interior, we are asking all of our followers (nearly 3,000 of them!!) to donate just $5.00 and challenge a friend or family member to do the same. If each follower donates $5.00, that will add up to nearly $15,000!! And if their friend or family member matches their $5.00 donation, well, you can all do the math!! The person who gets the most friends or family members to match their $5.00 donation will receive any item of Pony Tales apparel that they choose!! From tank tops to soft shell coats, we've got you covered and the choice is yours! Any funds raised over and above what we are seeking at this time, will be used to either construct a larger barn than planned, begin construction of an indoor arena (greatly needed in Wisconsin winters!), and/or to the regular care of the rescues.
Finally, the board member who's business we are infringing on, has generously offered to MATCH $2,000.00!!! This means that we can raise up to $4,000.00!! In addition, Facebook has waived all fees and will match your donations up to $50,000.00 on #GivingTuesday!! Every $5 donated, becomes $10. Every $100 donated, becomes $200. Our Executive Director has also offered to match donations up to what she receives as a Christmas bonus from her paying job!! Just click on the Donate button and watch the thermometer rise as you all help us reach our goal!!
We thank you all in advance and we realize this is a "big ticket item", but it is what we are in most need of at this time. 100% of the donations from this campaign will go directly into the barn fund. We plan a barn raising party and ask anyone to come out, help in anyway they can, eat some delicious food, drink some good drinks, and we can all give a big toast to the beautiful souls here at Pony Tales!!