For those of you involved in charity work of any kind, particularly if you are working with vulnerable populations, you know that there is a delicate balance in sharing the stories of the people (and animals) that your programs assist, and enabling people to receive support in a dignified way. But the reality is people want (and need) to see where their donations are going, and in many ways these stories can also help increase awareness of the many social issues that impact a significant portion of our population.
For us, these stories not only help us be accountable to our donors, they also help us elevate the status of animal welfare issues in our community’s consciousness. But they must be done in a respectful way, and we must always be cognizant that we are not exploiting the very personal, and often painful hardships of people’s lives.
In this era of social media, we know how powerful a video can be in capturing people’s attention, their hearts, and even their support. To this end, we have embarked on a couple projects that will hopefully help share the work we are so passionate about. The hardest task I was faced with so far with this project was approaching one of our LookOut Emergency Aid Society, one of our agency partners, to ask them if they could help facilitate a testimonial video from Ken. We shared the story of Ken and Bogotai in January, and since then we continue to help Ken get the necessary medication and supplements Bogotai needs to manage his arthritis (approximately $100/month). I knew that Ken and Bogotai would touch everyone, as they did with me the first time I met them, but I also wanted to ensure that Ken did not feel obligated to do this or be concerned that any future support for Bogotai would be attached to whether he did this video for us. When I contacted Emily, one of the Outreach workers that works with Ken and told her what I was hoping she can help with, I fumble through my request and stuttered about five times that there was no obligation, and that everyone must be okay and comfortable with this. Emily was very kind and said she would speak with her supervisor and with Ken and would see what she could do.
A few weeks passed with no word from Emily, and I was beginning to think this wasn’t going to happen. Imagine my delight when I received an email from Emily today with these photos of Ken and Bogotai during the video shoot. I can not fully express the gratitude I feel to be a part of Bogotai and Ken’s life, knowing that our monthly support is helping to keep this bond together!
I cannot wait to share our videos with you. In the meantime enjoy these candid shots of two best friends
For more information on our Roxy’s Relief Program, visit our website