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Fall 2016 in Review

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.

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Diego with his new middle school friends

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!

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Our DVAM campaign

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.

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Diego hears some of the biggest stars in pet social media speak!

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!

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Howl-o-Weenie
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Ahimsa House staff and volunteers at Atlanta Pride

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.

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Our wonderful volunteers at VegFest
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Diego and Santa Paws at Creekside Animal Hospital

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!

 

July Outreach Update and Walk, Wag, N’ Run!

Hello everyone!

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Neil enjoying some summer sun.

I hope you’re all enjoying your summers! After a quick vacation, I am back to work and preparing for the busy fall ahead of us. The summer lull has afforded me the chance to look back on all that our incredible Community Outreach Volunteers have accomplished so far in 2016; since January, they’ve volunteered 187 hours of their time during 101 shifts at 18 different events. WOW! Diego and I really appreciate our volunteers’ dedication to our cause and are so grateful for their support.

Since I last posted, the Community Outreach Volunteers, Diego, and I have enjoyed attending a few different summertime events. FURever Fest at Cobb County Animal Control was great as always; we loved hearing the sound of the bell any time a dog or cat found a new home. We can’t thank Fran Jackson of PAWSitive Supporters enough for all she does for animals and organizations like ours.

At the end of May, we received a warm (literally and figuratively) welcome from the folks in the Tifton Domestic Violence Task Force. It was great learning about what they’re up to down in Tifton, and sharing with them about Ahimsa House and the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty.

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One of our awesome Community Outreach Volunteers at the Summer Hill Juneteenth Celebration.

We were so fortunate to be able to work with Vincent’s Italian Restaurant in June. They donated a portion of their profits from an evening of sales to Ahimsa House, while we got to eat delicious Italian food and speak with visitors about Ahimsa House. Thank you to everyone that came out that tonight to support us! Later that month, we attended our first-ever Juneteenth celebration held by the Summer Hill Heritage Group in Cartersville. We could feel a strong sense of community and were happy to be welcomed so warmly by guests and fellow vendors alike. At the end of June, a group of awesome volunteers held down the fort for us at the Georgia Daschund Races.  This event is always a volunteer favorite—we can’t wait to attend ourselves next year!

We closed out the month and transitioned into July with a couple of trips to Big Peach Running Co. in Decatur and Brookhaven. We are so excited to be partnering with Big Peach for this year’s Walk, Wag, N’ Run 5K and Fun Run and loved being able to speak with their Group Run members about our upcoming race.

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Diego hard at work preparing for Walk, Wag, N’ Run.

Oh! The race! Speaking of the race—if you haven’t heard, we’re holding our annual Walk, Wag, N’ Run on August 27th this year. Despite the EARLY wake-up call, it’s one of my favorite days of the year. This will be Diego’s first time attending, and he’s not sure whether he’s more excited for the walking, wagging, running, or socializing! There will be something for everyone, so even if you’re not interested in walking or running, you should still plan on coming by. For spectators, we will have a bounce house and more vendors than ever before. We are also still in need of volunteers, sponsors, and vendors to help us pull off the big day. Finally, you have another week and a half to submit a t-shirt design for the contest; if your design is chosen, all of the runners and walkers will be wearing a t-shirt printed with YOUR artwork! More info for Walk, Walk, N’ Run can be found on our website here.

That’s all for today!  Fall is approaching, so if you’re an Outreach Volunteer, be on the lookout for a bulletin soon. If you’re not a volunteer and would like to be one, you can find the application here. We’d love to have you on board.

Spring Outreach in Review… So Far

Hello fans of the Ahimsa House Community Outreach Program!

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Diego and me hangin’ out at Run for the Rescues

Where did the time go?! One minute I was suffering from cabin fever being holed up in the office for months, and suddenly here I am with thirteen counties, ten festivals, six presentations, and a Gala under my belt! Good thing I’ve got my spacesuit on or I probably would’ve forgotten to breathe.Displaying IMG_2056.JPG

THANK YOU to everyone who has played a role in our spring outreach season so far. If it wasn’t for our awesome volunteers (sometimes braving torrential downpours, heavy winds, and crazy traffic), we wouldn’t have been able to reach out to so many people over the past few months. We’re also so grateful for the event organizers that host us and for anybody who has stopped by our booth or listened to a presentation. YOU play a huge role in making sure that anybody who may need Ahimsa House’s services hears about us.

In case you haven’t directly had a hand in our outreach efforts the past few months, here’s your chance to catch up on what you’ve missed:

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Our beautiful setup at Mutts on Main

The end of March made for a crazy beginning to our spring. We attended SPCA Run for the Rescues, the Rescue Dog Olympics, and Mutts on Main all in the same day! There’s no better way to spend a Saturday than by running around to three different dog-friendly events… that’s for sure. The following weekend, we were at the Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival and made a one-day trip to Milledgeville to attend the ArtHealthy Festival on GCSU’s campus.

Next up was ReptiCon, a traveling reptile convention that stops in Atlanta a few times per year. I’m surprised I didn’t bring home a snake… maybe next time! PAWS Atlanta turned 50 this year and we were honored to be included in their celebration as well. What a fun time!

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Practicing my presentation before a Family Violence Task Force meeting

Amidst all this madness, we had been preparing for our annual Gala, which was on April 22nd this year. We had a blast celebrating Ahimsa House with all of our friends and supporters and raised a lot of money that will go toward helping the people and pets in our program. The day after the Gala, we were at it again talking with LPC students at Mercer University’s SAO Conference. We said goodbye to April with Atlanta Humane’s Meet Your Best Friend Mega Adoption Event and two days at the Inman Park Festival. Most recently, we attended STAR 94.1’s Woofstock. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many dogs in my life… it was paradise!

In between these packed weekends, I was so excited to be welcomed by a few different groups to give presentations on the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty as well as Ahimsa House’s mission and services. I spoke with some great audiences and know they’re prepared to recommend our services to anyone who needs them.

Well that’s what’s up with me! I’m gearing up for FURever Fest at Cobb Animal Control this weekend—I can’t wait to see all those pets go home with their furever families while Diego and I talk to the humans about Ahimsa House.  Have a great weekend and I hope to see you all soon!

February Outreach Update

Hello friends! I hope you are all having a fantastic year so far. I am slowly emerging from my winter hibernation with some fun updates to share.

neil diegoFirst of all, I’d like to introduce my new friend, Diego. He is an adorable brindle and white mutt that lived at Fulton County Animal Services until his mom adopted him last year. Not only did he get a new home, but he also secured a job as our new amPAWsador! He can’t wait to travel with me throughout Georgia to spread the word about Ahimsa House. It’s been so helpful to finally have someone around the office that can speak dog; he is a great asset to our team.

In other news, I am finally on Instagram and am excited to share photos and stories of my travels with all of you! You can find me at @walkingwithneil, or you can click here to visit my profile.

We’ve been waiting (not so) patiently for the sun to come out so outreach season can really begin. In the meantime, we’ve gotten to attend a few great events. Back in January we attended Paws, Whiskers, and Wags’ annual Celebration of Life. The event was a very sweet tribute to pets that had passed in 2015 and we were so honored to be a part of it.

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Last weekend, we attended all three showings of Marietta’s Theatre in the Square’s production of the Vagina Monologues. We were grateful to have the opportunity to speak with attendees about Ahimsa House, all while enjoying a fantastic show!

What’s more, all five of the volunteers that have helped at events so far in 2016 have been brand new to our Community Outreach program! They were all so passionate about helping Ahimsa House and we are SO excited to have them on board.

Coming up, we have a lot of great events to look forward to. Starting around the last weekend in March the schedule will be very busy, so keep an eye out in your email inbox for my outreach bulletins! If you are not already receiving my emails, click here to fill out our volunteer application; make sure you indicate you are interested in Community Outreach so you are added to my email list.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Community Outreach program you are welcome to email Samantha, who recently joined the Ahimsa House staff, at samantha@ahimsahouse.org. I look forward to working with all of you in March and beyond!

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Saving the Best for Last: November Outreach Update & Fall in Review

Hello fans of the Ahimsa House community outreach program! Now that the fall outreach frenzy has concluded, and it is decidedly too chilly to table outside (even though the sun is deceptively bright!), I want to take a moment to reflect on what we have accomplished. We have had a hugely successful outreach program, utilizing energetic volunteers and staff to reach a variety of community and professional partners.

We love our veterinary partners, like Riverstone Animal Hospital, in Canton, who donated the proceeds of their 5k to support our mission!
We love our veterinary partners, like Riverstone Animal Hospital, in Canton, who donated the proceeds of their 5k to support our mission!

While September and October were a flurry of smaller festivals and rescue events across the state, keeping our staff and volunteers running, November was a slower month with a BIG theme. All of the events were attended were simply HUGE! Huge venues, huge turnouts, and a huge response from the community.  In the beginning of the month, for example, Ahimsa House was lucky to operate a booth at the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Fall Convention, which boasted a whopping 404 attendees from veterinary clinics across the state as well as a variety of pet-oriented vendors. We are super lucky, as a small non-profit, to be able to participate in the exhibitor’s hall! And the weekend was well worth it– the response from veterinarians, techs, front office staff, rescue individuals, and GVMA staff was overwhelmingly positive. From offers to foster, distribute our information in clinics, and donate medical and boarding services, our time spent at the Fall Convention was an invaluable investment. Veterinary clinics are often the first physical interaction a client has with our program, and being able to communicate the values of our program and send individuals in the midst of domestic violence to an office where they will be treated with respect and confidentiality is key. Without the support of our veterinary partners, we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do!

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Lots of people eager to learn in the vendor’s hall at Veg Fest!

The very same weekend, some hard working volunteers represented Ahimsa House at Veg Fest, an annual vegan-themed conference featuring speakers, round table discussions, kids activities, and vegan-friendly vendors. Not surprisingly, there is a huge overlap between animal lovers and the vegan community, and our participation in Veg Fest always garners a lot of support and interest from the community! Pratyusha, Brooke, and Phoebe did an incredible job educating the attendees about Ahimsa House and our services. Similarly, the huge crowds at the Atlanta Pet Expo, a HUGE pet-friendly event in the Georgia International Convention Center, were extremely receptive to our mission after speaking with volunteers Michelle, Joanna, and Pratyusha.

The month ended on a fantastic note with the North Atlanta Pizza Wars, a brand new event organized by our friends over at Pet Pages!! Featuring a dozen local pizzerias in competition, a beer garden, and a ton of local rescues with their most adoptable dogs, North Atlanta Pizza Wars was always going to be a great event, and the weather being 70 degrees as well on Thanksgiving Weekend was just the cherry on top! Celebrity judges such as Victoria Stillwell of It’s Me or the Dog were in attendance, and Ahimsa House Ambassador and Miss Universe 2014 Sabrina Pinion engaged those who came to our booth. Best of all, the event benefited Ahimsa House and went super smoothly thanks to a legion of dedicated Ahimsa House volunteers!

Sabrina Pinion, Ahimsa House Ambassador, crowns Isabella of Isabella's Pet Shop, who have generously donated to Ahimsa House in the past!
Sabrina Pinion, Ahimsa House Ambassador, crowns Isabella of Isabella’s Pet Shop, who have generously donated to Ahimsa House in the past!

Overall, the fall outreach season went out with a bang and we were able to make many valuable professional and community connections that will enable us to help more people and pets escape domestic violence together! I owe a HUGE thank you to the invaluable volunteers who make all of our work, especially community outreach, possible. To show our appreciation for our volunteers, this fall we have been tallying hours for a prize drawing, with more hours representing more chances to win. I am pleased to announce that Joanna B. has won the prize, a custom folk art pet placemat and bowl! Joanna, who volunteered with us this fall at BarkFest and at the Atlanta Pet Expo, says, “I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to volunteer for a group that is very near and dear to my family and heart.” We are so thankful for you, Joanna!

Until the spring, everyone! Happy Holidays!

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October Volunteer of the Month + 4 Weekends Left!

At this moment, looking forward at the calendar, there are only four weekends of outreach craziness left. The weather is cooling (too rapidly for my tastes, if we’re being honest) and we may be bundling up, but the fall community festivals are still going strong and a lot of fun! Since the beginning of September, we’ve gotten the word out about Ahimsa House at 35 outreach events, ranging from professional presentations and task force meetings to restaurant profit shares and adopt-a-thons. Think about how many individual people we’ve reached and the lives we’ve touched. And it’s all thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers!

Dawn is a huge dog lover! Cuddling here with an adoptable pet from Furkids.
Dawn is a huge dog lover! Cuddling here with an adoptable pet from Furkids.

I’d like to honor Dawn G., the Ahimsa House October Outreach Volunteer of the Month! Dawn was a huge asset to Ahimsa House at our East Lake PGA TOUR Championship concessions stand, and kept up the hard work this month. Weekends we were double (or even triple!) booked, I didn’t have to worry about local events as I drove all over the state because I knew that Dawn had it under control! So far, she has represented Ahimsa House at Fido’s Market Fall Festival and Dogtoberfest at East Atlanta Village, and will be giving out candy and Ahimsa House information this weekend at the Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends Festival. Dawn, thank you SO much for all of your hard work and great energy!!

Coming up ahead, Ahimsa House is going to tabling at:

  • One veterinary conference
  • Two workplace giving events 
  • Four professional resource fairs/vigils
  • Aaaand… seven community festivals!! 

Wow! That’s a lot going on in just four short weeks, and knowing us, we’re going to sign up for more if we can! If you would like to get involved in the community outreach program, you can contact Sarah at outreach@ahimsahouse.org or (404) 496-4038. Don’t forget that this fall we are hosting an outreach raffle to win a gift card! The more you volunteer, the higher your odds of winning! You can read more about the contest here.

Finally, with a nod to Halloween and the mood getting suuuuuper spooooky, I wanted to show off the most adorable contest contests we’ve seen in the last couple weeks!

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Spooky vibes at the office!
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Pretty Princess at BarkFest, a Kennesaw event that benefitted Ahimsa House! Thank you, BarkFest! 
Another great costume at BarkFest :) What a tough guy!
Another great costume at BarkFest 🙂 What a tough guy!
And last but not least-- the cutest little taco at Dogtoberfest at EAV!!
And last but not least– the cutest little taco at Dogtoberfest at EAV!!
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September Reflection and Outreach Volunteer of the Month

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The overcast day didn’t dull our spirits!

October is here, and that means we are going to be busier than ever in the upcoming weekends! The outreach calendar is chock-full for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we are so excited to join the national conversation about domestic violence and come together in awareness. #DVAM kicked off on the first with the Domestic Violence Awareness Community Resource Fair organized by Atlanta Victim Assistance. We were proud to witness the powerful testimony by survivor LaMiracle Taylor.

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Our September Outreach Volunteer of the Month!! Thank you for all of your hard work!

Before we get caught up planning and organizing for what is coming up, however, I want to pause here for a moment. Breathe in. Breathe out. Okay! We made it through September, and made so many great connections along the way! I’d like to moment to take a moment to honor and thank Gina Q., the September Outreach Volunteer of the Month!! Gina joined me at the Lawrenceville Square on the Fair a few weeks back, and arrived early to help set up. With her background in domestic violence advocacy and her love of animals, Gina fits right in with the Ahimsa House spirit! Thank you for all of your help in September, Gina, and I look forward to working with you in October!

September also culminated in the end of a months-long presentation and attendance streak at domestic violence task force meetings outside of Metro Atlanta. I was welcomed to the Waycross Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Task Force with open arms to present on the link between domestic violence and animal abuse and to discuss Ahimsa House’s services. The task force members were extremely receptive and even brought me on a tour of the local domestic violence shelter. The tropical weather didn’t hurt, either! To top it all off, Ahimsa House was awarded Task Force Agency of the year at the Georgia Commission on Family Violence Annual Conference in Athens, GA. Thank you so much! We feel rejuvenated for the year ahead!

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Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

 

Loving the palm trees! Waycross is beautiful.
Loving the palm trees! Waycross is beautiful.

 

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THANK YOU to our incredible partners!

Welcome, readers!

The Ahimsa House outreach program is a testament to the importance of community. Even with a small staff, we are dedicated to having a strong presence at rescue events and weekend festivals of all sorts because we know that without our community, we wouldn’t be able to assist victims of domestic violence all over Georgia! Tabling and speaking on a regular basis have allowed our services to grow— and we couldn’t even imagine how successful we would be. This week, over 15 animals entered our program. That’s incredible! Those animals will be cared for, transported, and fostered by volunteers and partnering agencies that we meet while at outreach events. We really can’t thank ALL of our partners enough for all that they allow us to accomplish!

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This past weekend, Neil and I took a drive up to Canton, GA for an event put on by one of our partner agencies, Riverstone Animal Hospital. Paws in the Pavement is their first-ever 5k, and they were so generous as to donate the proceeds to Ahimsa House! The morning was a little overcast but that did not dampen anyone’s spirits. Over a hundred runners and their dogs came out from Canton and far away to come together and run. The morning couldn’t have gone smoother and everyone had a ton of fun! Lauren and Barry, two wonderful Ahimsa House volunteers, and I spoke to a lot of people about our services, and many people signed on to get involved. And we grow!

To top off such a great morning, for the first time we showed off our fancy new outreach gear generously donated by The Corporate Shop. Check out our beautiful new tent (with an Ahimsa House logo on all four sides!), updated banners, table runner, and, of course, embroidered suitcase to hold all of the great stuff that goes out on the outreach displays!

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Tada!
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Banner about Ahimsa House services (including our social media pages!)
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Closeup of table runner and suitcase.

Thank you so much to The Corporate Shop and to Riverstone Animal Hospital for their generosity and commitment to Ahimsa House!

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FALL OUTREACH KICKOFF!

Hello Ahimsa House followers!

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Hard at work filling up the fall calendar!

Neil here coming out of my long summer siesta. It’s been muggy! It’s been thunder-y! And whoo, it’s been hot. I’m pleased to announce the beginning of our busiest outreach season of the year. As the temperature drops, the number of community festivals rises drastically, and already September and October are looking busy, busy, busy!

You never know what can happen at an outreach event when tabling with Ahimsa House. Fourteen total strangers may sign up for our newsletter, passing on news of our program and services to their family and friends. A handful will sign up to volunteer, assisting us on our crisis line, fostering or transporting a pet, or even tabling at outreach events with you next time! An employee at a local boarding facility could approach us with a partnership, offering a discounted boarding rate for Ahimsa House pets. Perhaps a woman experiencing domestic violence will simply walk by, file the information away, and call us in a few weeks for help. Or you may simply sell a Beanie Baby to a child and make their day, raising a few bucks to go towards the animals in our program. Regardless of what happens, it matters – A LOT! Communities are full of possibilities and potential partnerships, and spending your time volunteering with Ahimsa House’s outreach program makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE!

Ahimsa House’s outreach program has always been volunteer-run. We are proud that with only four employees, we are still able to do so much because of our dedicated volunteers. We want to show our thanks to our volunteers beyond this bulletin– we want the world to know!! How, you ask?

  1. From now through November, each hour that a volunteer represents Ahimsa House at an outreach event will earn them an extra chance at winning a gift card PRIZE!! For example, If Dana volunteers for 4 hours this fall, her name will be in the drawing 4 times to win! Who can resist volunteering for a good cause coupled with competing for a prize?
  2. We are also accepting submissions for outreach volunteer of the month! If you would like to nominate a fellow volunteer, a friend, or yourself, you can email Sarah with 2-3 lines about why you think that person deserves to be volunteer of the month!! The volunteer will be featured on Neil’s Blog. Yay!

Here are our upcoming volunteer needs. All of the following shifts are wide open for 1-3 volunteers!! If you would like to sign yourself and family/friends up for a shift, please email Sarah.

September

Paws on the Pavement 5k, Canton
Riverstone Animal Hospital in Canton, GA is being so kind as to host a 5k to benefit Ahimsa House! We would love volunteers to assist with the logistics of the race, including water stations, and to staff the Ahimsa House booth!
Saturday, September 12, 7a-11a

Paws in the Park, Kennesaw
Sponsored by Keep Kennesaw Beautiful, the 3rd annual Dreamland Memorial PAWS in the Park is an event to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership. See demonstrations by GAK9 service dogs. Visit over 40 vendor booths. Take home free samples of pet products. Shop for food and pet items. Take the Primrose Paw Print Pledge. It’s fun for grown ups, kids, and dogs!
Saturday, September 19, 8a-12p

Fair on the Square, Lawrenceville
This annual festival attracts four to five thousand visitor to downtown Lawrenceville every year! Fair on the Square features over one hundred vendors, arts and crafts, musical performances, great food, a kid zone, and even a dance contest! We don’t want to miss out of this action!
Saturday, September 19, 10a-2p
Saturday, September 19, 2p-6p

Top Dogs Paw Festival, Kennesaw
Featuring pet businesses, rescue groups, free pet food samples and pet nutrition education, a Fashion Show Contest, and other activities for everyone to enjoy.
Sunday, September 27, 1p-5p

October

Chattahoochee Pet Festival, Duluth
Live entertainment, including a Dancing with the Dogs contest and pet tricks! Pet friendly. Also featuring pet vendors, craft vendors, rescue groups, adoptions, and food vendors.
Sunday, October 4, 9a-12:30p
Sunday, October 4, 12:30p-4p

Boxerstock Music Festival, Marietta
You can experience the fun of Boxerstock without buying a ticket! A whole day of music, fun for kids, rescue row, doggie parades and contests, and more.
Sunday, October 11, 12p-3p
Sunday, October 11, 12p-6p

Fido’s Market Fall Festival, Alpharetta
Fun fall festival by your favorite natural pet shop!
Sunday, October 11, 11:30a-3p

Noah’s Ark Fall Festival, Locust Grove
Enjoy a fun day at Noah’s Ark animal sancturary! Pet parades, contests, and more! And of course the usual ducks and chickens exploring the grounds 🙂
Saturday, October 17, 8:30a-12p
Saturday, October 17, 12p-4p

Dogtoberfest in East Atlanta Village
Afternoon of fun for family and fur-babies.
Sunday, October 18, 12p-4p

Blessing of the Pets, Dunwoody
Annual blessing of the pets by the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.
Sunday, October 18, 12p-2p

Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends (AARF) Pet Fest, Stone Mountain
Featuring a silent auction, a doggie costume parade and contest, adoptions, and games.
Saturday, October 24, 9a-1p
Saturday, October 24, 1p-5p

Daffy’s Day, Lilburn
Low-cost vaccinations, doxie races, pet contests and parades, adoptions, food vendors, children’s activities, and the second annual Hike for Hungry Pets!
Sunday, October 25, 10:30a-1p
Sunday, October 25, 1p-4p

As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities to get involved and help grow Ahimsa House!

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Exploring New Terrain: Cordele Watermelon Arts and Crafts Festival

Today's star is...
Home of the annual Watermelon Festival.

This weekend Neil and I took a trip down to Cordele, GA to host an Ahimsa House booth at the Watermelon Arts and Crafts Festival. “What do watermelons have to do with domestic violence?” you may be wondering. Yes, it’s true that a lot of events we attend are explicitly pet-themed– rescue-paloozas, doggie fashion shows, and the like– but having a face at community fairs is important for our outreach program, too. You never know if you may be reaching out to a passerby who is in the midst of domestic violence in her own home, or maybe you will establish a relationship with a volunteer willing to foster an animal in that area, saving us the expense of boarding and enabling us to help even more people. As we grow, it’s our goal to color in the whole map of Georgia, symbolizing the strong connections we have with volunteers, social service agencies, animal lovers, and veterinarians in each county.

The Watermelon Festival started out as a beautiful day. Our booth was between a homemade jewelry stand and a table boasting handpainted gourds-turned-birdhouses (several were painted like watermelons). Like all of the events I’ve had the pleasure of attending, the Watermelon Festival boasted extremely friendly and hospitable people. I passed out some flyers about the local domestic violence shelter, and many animal lovers signed up for our newsletter. We even sold some merchandise! It was a good day. Unfortunately some pretty ugly thunderstorms shut the festival down early in the afternoon, but I look forward to returning next year!

One small step for man...
One small step for man…

Of course, none of this would be possible if not for the generosity of our volunteers, especially those who represented Ahimsa House on that very same day at the Georgia Dachshund Races. Thank you, team!

Out of 159 counties in Georgia, we've done outreach, received paperwork or crisis calls,  or gotten cases in from 129!
Out of 159 counties in Georgia, we’ve done outreach, received paperwork or crisis calls, or gotten cases in from 129!

 

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