RARE uses live events for many reasons: introducing adoptables to the public and their potential furever families, fundraising, education, volunteer and foster recruitment, and so much more. So what happens now, where in some places, large social gatherings are restricted, or even illegal? It may be a long, uphill battle, but we are not easily stopped. We have to trudge through the bad to find the good, but there is good.
Over the past year, Rural Animal Rescue Effort developed a sort of schedule, holding or attending at least one event a month, usually a brewery or festival where we bring merchandise and adoptables to rub shoulders with the public and show them all the ways to engage with us; as well as holding a larger event quarterly, with a focus on raising funds. We began to grow our calendar and book and advertise our events and appearances further out, having the first six months of 2020 booked before the onset on the pandemic.
With the arrival of Covid-19 in the U.S., the event and entertainment industry took, arguably the first large hit. States quickly began restricting, or even outlawing gatherings of an established number of people. Currently, Davidson County is under a Safer At Home Order through May 1st with a possible extension, asking residents to only leave their homes for essential purposes. So, how is RARE moving forward?
RARE is dedicated to the safety of our animals, volunteers, adopters, and the public. Safety and public health are the first factors we must take into consideration, following CDC and public health experts’ guidelines and recommendations for all operations. Next, we must look at the laws and restrictions in our area. What are we allowed to do? Thirdly, we have the financial burden of hosting events, which can be free or cost upwards of thousands of dollars to hold, depending on the scope of the event. These are just the major factors to consider. Then we must look at if people are willing to volunteer and attend, if we think the adoptions or amount of funds raised is worth the cost and time to plan, if vendors and venues are available to help, etc. In all transparency, we cannot say when we expect to host live events again.
BUT!!! The show must go on! We still want to engage with you! We still want to serve our animals and our RARE family well. We are shifting our efforts to safe, socially distant events and activities. Currently, we are planning online events for the foreseeable future. With less planning time and materials required, you may even see them more often than once a month. We are working on online dance parties, virtual trivia, educational and informational classes, etc. We ask that during this time of uncertainty, instead of letting the virus control our operation, we mold to utility within it. We find the ways to still save lives and build families. We ask that you stay tuned to our website and social media for all upcoming events and ways to help. You have always been a huge part of our success, and the virus does not change that.