Donations needed as two local non-profits prepare for the new year

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Thursday, December 29, 2022
Donations needed as two local non-profits prepare for the new year
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Valley non-profits count on the community's support to provide many of their services and 'end of the year' contributions are especially important.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley non-profits count on the community's support to provide many of their services.

And 'end of the year' contributions are especially important.

The Valley Animal Center is currently home to about 40 dogs and more than 150 cats.

While donations were slow in the summer, supporters helped the shelter exceed its 250-thousand dollar end of the year fund-raising goal. But feeding and caring for the animals runs about 100-thousand dollars a month.

"We never want to be put in a position like this where we have to say we need to start making cuts or look at our staffing, or the intake of animals that we do, says adoption supervisor Ruben Cantu. " Thankfully we have been able to maintain what we're doing and we're forever grateful for that."

The shelter has faced some 'out of the ordinary' challenges this year.

Animal adoptions are down from the average 1000 to only 800, and animal returns have gone up.

"It's a bit discouraging, but I also have to understand the times," says Cantu. "Not everyone is prepared to take a on a 15 year commitment like an animal that may also have some medical needs or behavioral needs."

At the Fresno County Boys and Girls Club, the country's tough economy could be contributing to a recent lag in donations.

"I think people are really watching what is going on, and inflation is a huge thing. We have to think about that as an organization," says Kathryn Weakland, the Clubs Vice President of Development. "Food costs have gone up -- we serve food every afternoon to all of our kids."

The organization, which serves 45 hundred kids at 14 clubs across the county, still hopes to see more year-end contributions in the next few days. The money will help fund spring programs like financial literacy, academic success and leadership.

"We took 150 kids to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium this past summer. Ninety-nine percent of those kids had never been to the aquarium before so that adventure was an eye opening experience to them."

Financial support of any size is always appreciated, but they will gladly accept in-kind donations as well.

"Our clubs always need something -- whether its fixing a faucet or fixing the heater," says Weakland. "If we have trades that are out there... plumbers, electricians, painters who want to give back, this is a great opportunity to give us a call and see of that would work."

The Boys and Girls Clubs still hopes to reach its $150,000 "year-end" giving goal and Valley Animal Center is always in search of volunteers and pet food, especially kitten formula and bottle supplies.