Halfway Home Pet Rescue issues $1 challenge

Posted Dec. 28, 2010, at 6:31 p.m.

Although Halfway Home Pet Rescue of Caribou was, in the final days of voting, in the lead in its attempt to be the state winner in the Animal Rescue Site’s $100,000 Holiday Shelter Challenge, at the end, Maine Greyhound Placement Service of Augusta surged ahead and won the state contest and the $1,000.

While that was a great disappointment to all the folks who worked so hard and voted daily for that Aroostook County cat rescue shelter, HHPR President Norma Milton is happy the money will help animals in Maine.

“That is the important thing,” she said.

On the larger scale of things, the visibility of being in the contest did help them.

“This contest and the excitement it generated has assisted us in getting so many cats adopted into good homes. That is the winning count, as far as I am concerned.”

Norma said HHPR nearly ran out of cats available for adoption, which turned out to be a blessing since “eight more came in since Christmas, and I only have 17 right now. It’s been up as high as 40.”

Norma houses the cats in her home while awaiting funds to construct a permanent home for HHPR.

She has come up with another fundraising idea that is catching on quickly.

Earlier this fall, HHPR had opened a future Building Fund Account that already has a balance of $920, Norma said.

“We figured we needed to start it or it would simply never happen,” she said of beginning the process of raising funds to acquire or erect a permanent facility for HHPR.

Now, inspired by its loss in the animal rescue challenge, Norma said HHPR is launching the $1 for $1,000 Challenge.

“We are asking everyone to put $1 in an envelope and mail it to Halfway Home Pet Rescue, P.O. Box 488, Caribou 04736, to be deposited in the HHPR Building Account.

“My Mom used to say, ‘every cloud has a silver lining,’ and this is a time when a $1 gift could offset the loss of that $1,000.”

When I spoke with Norma on Monday morning, she already had received $100 of the $1,000 challenge.

“People are so good,” Norma said while admitting she has no idea who some of those kind donors are.

Norma hopes donors, if they have access to the Internet, will include their e-mail addresses, “and then I can e-mail them to let them know I received the money,” she said.

She figures that since it costs the donor $1.44 to mail the HHPR donation, if she had to send a thank-you note in return it would decrease that donation by 44 cents, which is why she’d love to e-mail you a response.

If you don’t have access to the Internet, you can be sure Norma will thank all of you, publicly, right here in a future column.

“I have received lots of compliments” on the idea of the $1 for $1,000 Challenge, Norma said, and that’s understandable, since a $1 contribution is much more affordable for many people.

When you launch a challenge, Norma suggested, people are apt to expect “that you are going to ask for $25 or $50, and that’s a lot. One dollar is OK, so everyone is saying to me, Norma: Go for it!

“I am excited. It has really erased the discomfort of losing” the national challenge.

So, to those of you who voted, online for Halfway Home Pet Rescue in the recent Animal Rescue Site Challenge, sending HHPR $1 would certainly make the HHPR volunteers happy, and will keep the cats they care for purring in a most contented fashion.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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