Kittens Calendar Fundraiser Donated by KRI

 

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I am proud to have created and produced the Kittens 2017 Calendar for my favorite local rescue organization Cats-Can, Inc. It is their first Kittens Calendar Fundraiser  (as well as mine).  It was definitely a learning curve as I went along. And alot of fun and hard work went into it.  Many people in rescue have asked how did we go about getting this fundraiser off the ground, where do you start, how to do a calendar fundraiser. Here is a breakdown of the steps I took to make the calendar and the timeline I used.

How to do a Calendar Fundraiser

libertycreativeprinter1. APRIL 2016: Find a Printer I met with several printers to get sample calendars, looking at print quality and price.  Once we chose a printer, Liberty Creative, we set up a meet to discuss our non-profit fundraiser goals and he gave us a great idea. He suggested getting local area businesses to help sponsor the calendar with business card ads. He showed us an example of how another non-profit did this. In this way, the sponsors help pay to print the calendar and they get to advertise their businesses at the same time. We pursued this idea immediately.
2. 3calendarsample2JUNE 2016  Marketing materials for Sponsors In order to get local area businesses to consider what we had to offer, we had to make samples and ordering packets for the rescue group members to use. I set to work on creating  marketing materials and approximately 15 packets for each lead volunteer in the rescue group. The packets included the following:  an order form with several different types of ads that could be purchased in different sizes and price points, a sample calendar page showing the quality of the images and real life sizes of the ad spaces, and an envelope to collect the sponsors order forms and payments. We also created a life-size laminated calendar page to use as an example with business card ads at the bottom. I gave this to the adoption event volunteers to advertise at the adoption events every Saturday.
3. JULY & AUGUST 2016 Getting sponsors Getting our lead volunteers to feel comfortable asking businesses to sponsor a calendar ad was very difficult to say the least.  Luckily, myself and a few other willing volunteers came through. We only had 14 paid sponsored ads, however it was enough money to pay to print 500 copies of our calendar and that is a great start! We were proud to say that the rescue organization will not have to pay anything to make and print 500 calendars and that ALL of the proceeds will go to help the cats.
4. AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2016 Calendar Wizard and InDesign : In order to save money for the rescue (to not have to pay several hundred dollars in printer set-up charges), I decided to create and produce the calendar myself- it was a great undertaking.  I really wasn’t sure what I was gettng into or how to begin. So I asked. And again, we got the help and advice of our favorite sales rep Mike at Liberty Creative. He told me that his printer guys use Calendar Wizard.  I wasn’t really sure what that was so I googled it and figured it out. This is where the learning curve came in…  I had to learn how to use InDesign along with adding the extension: the Calendar Wizard. The Adobe InDesign Calendar Wizard is a javascript extension to Adobe InDesign which adds calendars to an InDesign document. The free calendar Wizard extension can be found here. I am a Photoshop user so it took a few days before I realized how to use In Design. Then,  after donwloading the Calendar Wizard extension, it took several attempts before I was finally able to create the correct layout which left enough space at the bottom for our business card ads. There is an area in Calendar Wizard where you can customize the parameters of the layout of the calendar grid, the sizes of the squares, font, color and more.   Once I figured out how to leave space at the bottom and the settings i needed,  the Calendar Wizard automatically did the rest: everything including holidays.
covervote5. SEPTEMBER 2016 Adding Photos The next step was carrying over my InDesign calendar months into Photoshop where the FUN begins and I spent many, many, many, long sleepless nights…. and days choosing and inserting the kitten images that went on each page, along with the business card ads at the bottom.   The hardest part was choosing the best images that went on the calendar: the large featured kittens and the cover kitten. I was helped by the owner of the  non-profit to make a lot of those decisions. We collaborated back and forth via text. And for the cover image, we had a poll on Cats-Can Facebook page. I made an ad with the images of the 12 kitten months and the CCi audience voted over a two day weekend. The winner is shown: sweet Milowe in denum jeans. In the advertisement at the bottom of this page, you can see a small image of each calendar page with many images added in there.
6. OCTOBER 2016  Printing the Calendar The final step was saving the calendar, according to the printer specs: pdf, etc etc.,  and then back and forth a few times with proofs from the printer until we finally got our calendars printed. Hurray! it only took a week and they were in.
lr_fbkittenad2_8x107. OCTOBER 2016: PRICING & marketing the calendar…: Just when you think all of the work is done, the most important step still needs to take place. Now we have the task of marketing the calendar and hoping that the rescue group will be able to sell all 500 before Christmas.   I made several ads for the Rescue to use on their home page of their website and also their facebook page.  I also made a 16×20 poster to be used at adoption events.
Now YOU can help support Cats-Can kittens: The calendars are available for a donation of only $12 or you can get 2/$20 at Cats-Can, inc adoption events in the Petsmart, Oviedo. They can also be ordered with a donation of $15 or 2/$25 (that price includes shipping) through paypal on Cats-Can Inc website by clicking here.

 

 

Here are the pages from the calendar so viewers can see how we customized each month with images inside the grid, and how the sponsored business card ads look at the bottom.

Kitten Season – the rescue cycle begins

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While volunteering for Cats-Can, Inc. last week at Petsmart, an interested person asked, where do we get our rescues? Here is an article that details how we rescue, care for, socialize, and vet our kittens/cats through to their adoption day.
Orlando, FL –   March 1, 2016 Welcome to kitten season … Cats-Can rescue already has two sets of newborns that were found abandoned by community members last week, settled in two separate foster homes, umbilical cords still attached. Their foster moms are busy making bottles and feeding every 3-4 hours.   Another two 5 week olds, will be picked up tonight. The rescue has calls and emails in daily.  Another plea for help just came in over the rescue group text – “Is anyone available to trap kittens now? There are 6 five week olds who are going to get run over in Tuskawilla, and 2 pregnant mommas.”  The kitten season rescue cycle begins…
All these rescue cats/kittens will need a deworming, flea treatment and, in most cases, medication to kill parasites present in their tummies. They will be settled in a foster home with caring, and loving foster parents who will have to quarantine them to ensure they are healthy before they can be around other pets. They will be well fed, played with, socialized and will have all of their needs provided for in their happy new “nursery” foster homes.  The rescue and foster parents will provide the medicine, the kitten milk replacement, the bottles,  the wet food, the dry food, the litter, the toys, their homes and love and care for as long as needed until the kittens are adopted.
All of the rescued cats and the kittens over two pounds are taken to the favorite Orlando area non-profit vet clinic  SpayNSave where they are “vetted”.  They are dropped off in the morning by their foster parent. While at the vet, they will be spayed/neutered, tested for feline diseases, given their first set of shots and/or rabies if applicable, micro chipped, nails trimmed and given a 30 day flea treatment. They are picked up in the afternoon by their devoted foster parents to recover, and within days they will be available for adoption.
The cat’s foster parent brings them to the adoption event every saturday at Petsmart from 11-5 until they are adopted. The foster will place them in a cage for the day, and will come back to pick them up. They will have a cage card and will be available for adoption to approved families. They will meet, play with, get hugs and love from the curious children and Petsmart patrons who come to visit each Saturday.  And they will eventually meet their forever family when they are chosen.
They will get their photo taken the first time they come to Petsmart. A photo shoot takes place every saturday from 1-4 during the adoption event. Fellow foster and volunteer, Kelly Richardson (- that’s me! -) sets up the in store photo shoot with a cardboard box in the kitten room using a soft fleece blanket, a few fun, decorative holiday props, available flourescent light, her Canon Mark III and her favorite fixed lens 100 mm macro. With the help of Cats-Can high school volunteers, they set to work placing one kitten at a time in the box, playing with feather teasers and making funny noises to get the cat’s attention until the purr-fect photo is taken for their web page.  photoshoot tutorial: How to Make a Photo Box
“We take anywhere from 10-20 cats/kitten photos a week during kitten season. One day, I photographed 22 cats and kittens. Last weekend we photographed 12 and kitten season is just starting! The photos really help get them adopted. Many people are shopping online and the website that Cats-Can uses feeds into popular pet search sites. I edit and upload the new kittens and cats’ images onto the site within days of the photo shoot and almost immediately we start getting online applications from families that want to adopt. Seeing the families come to pick them up, knowing the kittens are going to live indoors in homes with good families, seeing the smile on their faces when they find their purr-fect friend- makes my day!” – Kelly Richardson.
Here are a few favorite Cats-Can rescue pet images that were photographed at Pet Smart 2-27-16 by Kelly Richardson. All of these images, advertisements,  along with weekly photo shoots are donated by Kelly Richardson.  Advertisement above created by Kelly Richardson for Cats-Can Rescue website and Cats-Can Facebook page. © Kelly Richardson 2016.

 

 

Dear _______, STOP kittens from being euthanized… help rescue kittens

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Little Pumpkin calico foster kitten rescued two weeks ago. She is approx 4 weeks old. IMG_2537
There are hundreds of cats and kittens in need of rescue.  The rescue kittens you see in attached ­­images were literally on “death row”. They were dropped off in a box at the doorstep  of a vet office in Florida.   The sad reality is that rescue kittens like these are given 24-48 hours to get rescued, or they are euthanized.  One can not imagine that anyone would euthanize innocent, homeless kittens, but unfortunately it is the shocking reality.
Kitten in hammock
Khloe tabby gray foster kitten, has been in foster care since she was three weeks old. I have just got word that she has been adopted to a single mom and daughter. She is sweet and cuddly, they will love her. IMG_1716
The fact of the matter is that many rescue organizations are not taking in cats or rescue kittens because the expense to fully vet and foster them is a lot more that the standard adoption fee.  While rescue organizations are not there to make a profit, most if not all of them are in the red.  With the volume of cats that keep multiplying it’s hard for animal rescue groups to take them in, foster and vet them to the adoptable stage, and still be operable.
I personally know foster parents who devote their time, home and love to rescue cats and kittens that the rescue organizations won’t take, funding everything themselves.   The dry food, the wet food, KMS kitten replacement milk and bottles for very young “bottle baby” kittens, cat litter, vet bills and medication quickly add up.   They need help gathering the funds to continue their efforts to save abandoned, surrendered, and death row cats and kittens that deserve nothing more than a loving and caring forever home.
Kitten in Pink Bucket
Beautiful Kimmy is Khloe’s sister. She has bright blue eyes. She reaches up and gives kisses, most affectionate. She has been adopted by my neighbor. IMG_0866
LuvKelly brand is devoted to raise community awareness and money to help foster parents and private organizations continue their mission to rescue, socialize, vet, foster and re-home as many homeless cats/kittens as possible to avoid them from going to a high kill shelter.  A portion of the proceeds generated through licensing these rescue kitten images will go directly to save, support and foster abandoned kittens.
The heart in Luv Kelly stands for each rescue kitten’s heart that is saved and cared for through the efforts of foster par­­ents working with rescue groups. Please support this cause that is so dear to our hearts. Contact Kelly to see more adorable rescue kittens images available for license to support this cause.
Sincerely,

KellyLOGOpink