Where did the year go? It feels like just yesterday we were anxiously awaiting spring’s arrival, yet here we are all the way at the end of 2016! While we still have one big event left this month, I wanted to take a moment to update you on all the places we’ve been and friends we’ve made this fall.
One of our favorite parts of community outreach is visiting various schools and colleges in the Atlanta area. We kicked things off in September with a volunteer fair at KSU and the Agnes Scott Nonprofit and Public Service Fair. It’s always wonderful speaking with passionate students who are looking to get involved in their communities. We were also welcomed by Georgia Tech’s Omega Phi Alpha sorority, who invited us to come speak with their members about our cause, our organization and how they can help us. We were delighted to have their assistance at subsequent outreach events! Another highlight was Emory’s Nonprofit Networking Event, where Community Services Advocate, Samantha, was able to mingle with students aspiring to work in the nonprofit field after graduation and provide guidance on achieving their goals. Finally, a visit to Renfroe Middle School for their Culture of Caring Day rounded out this year’s school visits. The students there are clearly on their way to being strong, compassionate leaders of their generation. Diego sure loved his news friends, too!
One of the reasons we love our cause is because it allows us to interact with other professionals working in both the domestic violence and animal welfare fields. The Georgia Commission on Family Violence Annual Conference was enriching as always, and it didn’t hurt that we got to spend our free time exploring beautiful Jekyll Island! October means Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which brings about a myriad of different events honoring victims and spreading awareness. We were grateful to attend the Atlanta Victim Assistance DV Resource Fair, the Hall County DV Breakfast and Briefing, and the DeKalb Solicitor General’s Community Symposium and Resource Fair, to name a few. Our Program Services Coordinator, Sally, was also welcomed by a couple different agencies to deliver presentations on Ahimsa House.
On the animal end of things, we had an awesome time at BarkWorld, a conference addressing social media in the companion animal community. We also had the opportunity to attend the Business of Saving Lives Conference, where we discussed how to fund-raise and utilize volunteers to help our organization run as effectively as possible. We’re also so grateful to be a friend of the Canine CellMates program at the Fulton County Jail and always love being a part of their Educational Speaker Series.
Fall is Employee Giving season for government agencies as well as a few private companies—this means we’re invited to share our work with employees at these workplaces to help them decide if they’d like to make recurring donations to our organization. We love the excitement surrounding these events and appreciate that the employers, such as the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Transportation, and American Express, encourage their employers to take part in making the world a better place.
Finally, what would our Community Outreach Program be without attending events and festivals in the community at large? This fall was full of pet-centered events—our favorite! Paws in the Park in Kennesaw is an event centered around encouraging dog owners to clean up after their pets in order to protect the health of the environment. We appreciate their efforts to spread the word about an issue that is not often discussed! The Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta welcomed us to their annual Pet Blessing, where pet lovers brought their own pets to be blessed and were able to learn about our organization in the process. We think it’s great that this faith community shows so much love to our furry family members. Rounding out September, we were invited to attend an Adoption Event by our good friends at PawSpa Resort and were able to share about our work with attendees there. Luckily we had no adoptables to bring with us!
Howl-O-Weenie, an event hosted by DREAM Dachshund Rescue, was so much fun as always. We were ecstatic to both have a booth at Atlanta Pride AND participate in the parade! It was so fun celebrating and showing our support for the LGBTQ community. Our next event, Dogtoberfest in EAV, was particularly special for us, as we were the beneficiaries of the organization’s grant. Each year the funds raised from Dogtoberfest’s costume contest are given to a local pet charity and also go toward making EAV more pet-friendly. We were so honored to be chosen for this year’s award and had a great time at the festival. The following weekend, we attended a Family and Pet Safety Event hosted by Cobb and Cherokee Emergency Veterinary Clinics, which provided a lot of great information about preparing people and their pets for potential emergencies. The next day, we had a great time at Boxerstock Music Festival celebrating two of our favorite things—music and dogs! Diego debuted his Halloween costume and made a lot of friends in the process.
As the season began to wind down, we had a great time with all of our old friends at the fall edition of Cobb County’s FURever Fest. We are so proud to support the shelter and love being a part of such a big day for them! The following week was spent at Veg Fest in Marietta, a festival dedicated to all things vegan and vegetarian. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot ofanimal lovers in attendance and we appreciated getting to chat with so many of them about our organization. Finally, Creekside Animal Hospital in Cumming held a “Pictures with Santa” event and donated all of the proceeds to Ahimsa House. We had a wonderful time seeing all the adorable pups get their pictures taken and are so grateful for their support.
Looking forward to this weekend, we will be at the Atlanta Pet Winter Wonderland at the Georgia International Convention Center. Bring your pet and look out for us on the Main Stage, where we’ll be participating in the Q+As and giving a presentation about our role in the animal community.
WHEW. That was a LOT, and it wasn’t even everything! We are so beyond grateful for everyone that makes our outreach program happen, but particularly our fabulous volunteers. 2016 has been Ahimsa House’s busiest year yet and that’s undoubtedly due in part to our volunteers’ efforts at spreading the word. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to attend nearly as many events throughout the state. So THANK YOU to our outreach volunteers and anybody else that assists us in getting our name out there. We want to make sure that anybody who may need our services knows about us, and we are well on our way there thanks to you!
We hope to see you at the Pet Winter Wonderland this weekend, but if not, look forward to seeing you out and about in 2017. Thank you for all your support this year!