Hello, my Tripawds friends.
After my last post, I turned off my computer and cell phone and have been lost in memories of Hope and her long battle with cancer. I really needed that time to quietly grieve and plan what I really wanted to accomplish with Mission of Hope: Did I want it to be an outreach mission, a fundraising arm of Tripawds, a mix of the two or what. It seems like I’ve always been the event/fundraising go-to person for any group I’ve been associated with, but fundraising won’t be part of my plans for the “Mission.” I feel events will be the best opportunity to talk with people about the organization, and maybe later, going into schools, libraries and ???. There seems to be an endless number of opportunities.
After telling only a handful of people about Hope’s passing, I’ve been blessed to have them direct other tripawd owners to me to learn more about the organization. This morning, the company I order dog food from offered to run a story on Hope and on tripawds on his website, which is really growing and is being picked up by local media. (If you have a chance, his company and website is www.nakeddingo.com. Two blogs he has already written about organizations I help with are entitled “Biscuit” and “Kodiak.”)
As an FYI, I’ve found that when you do events, you really have to have something to sell so that people will want to come into your tent. If you are an information only group, people are afraid if they approach you that you will talk their arm off! If you have just a few inexpensive items for sale, you can engage them in conversation and talk about the organization as they shop. Fortunately, I’ve found a few tripawds dogs that owners will loan me for the day of the event. Who can resist petting a happy three-legged dog!
The other day I purchased a lot of end of season kid’s trinkets at 90% off at Hobby Lobby, and I’m working on printing the tripawds logo with Jerry on cardstock that I can cut into bookmarks; both items will be a free handout to get people into my tripawds booth. I have my tent, table, handouts printed from the website, etc. ready for the next event! I don’t know where all of this will take me, but hopefully it will attract the attention of the media and an awareness of the awesome tripads.com website and wonderful families that make up this community.
If any of you can just download some info from the tripawds website to give to your vet and surgeon, that could be the first step in your own Mission in honor of your pet, which is hopefully still with you, or in memory of those who have passed. If your doctor has a bulletin board, leave a business card or space permitting, a postcard that can be printed from the tripawds website. Do you go to dog parks? Again, print something from the website to hand to people who want to know more about your tripawd because they either have a tripawd dog or know someone who has one. Does your area have an end-of-season swim party at a people pool? Do you take your dog to pet stores, restaurants that allow dogs, or a doggie bakery? These are places that you spend money and asking for the store to tack up your info about tripawds is pretty easy! Do you have a relationship with a rescue? If so, ask them to put the tripawds logo on their website. (I hope that’s okay with you Jim and Renee. I haven’t done that yet, but know of groups that would do that for me if you give the go ahead.) Tripawds is not in competition with any animal group; giving info about the organization benefits whomever you are talking with–from vets and surgeons to people you might bump into on the street. I suggest you have a small supply (to start with) of business cards, postcards, and fliers in your car. You’d be surprised at how many places you will find that will thank you for the information you leave with them. (Ask then if they have a weekly employee meeting and ask them to share the info you leave with employees during the meeting. Sometimes you have to lead to people to opportunities!)
If anyone is doing an event and would like to know what I have ready for my (first) event, just let me know. I have a PTA/Cub Scout/rescue background, so I can usually find or make things I need pretty cheap! And I just now thought of something else we could hand out in our booths–sample (quality) dog food or treats from independent pet stores. Since it’s free, maybe we could squeak by with the store’s business card stapled to the food–it’s worth a try! 🙂
I apologize for the length of this blog, but I just had to put into words the thoughts that have been going through my mind over the last week. The pain of Hope’s unexpected passing is slowly being healed by the celebration of her life and how her spirit will live on and help others. And, I apologize if my event ideas have already been posted by someone else. I still haven’t ventured to all the web pages….
Thank you for your support and prayers…they are appreciated so very much.
Barb, John and Spirit Hope