Grant programs are seen as transaction in nature rather than based on a partnership. Typically, grant programs consist of a one-time donation to a deserving organization or individual, like a grant for a student to go to college, and then little to no follow-up. But 1 FUR 1 Foundation and grant recipient Tree House Humane Society have developed a long lasting relationship unlike any other. Let’s take a closer look:
Tree House’s animal assisted service program has been in place from the inception of this no-kill Chicago shelter. As the organization grew the rescue and rehabilitation of homeless cats increased exponentially. Therefore all efforts were focused on caring and adopting these loving creatures. Without dedicated staff and even less time to spare the animal assisted program dwindle down to 5 active long term facilities who were providing their elderly residents with a cat visit once or twice a month. At 1FUR1 we saw an opportunity to help to offer this free-of-charge animal assisted service to as many long term care and assisted living facilities as possible.
A year later, our Animal Assisted Activity (AAA) program has blossomed and the community impact skyrocketed. We delivered 100% increase in active facilities where AAA visits take place, as illustrated by the informative map on our Get Support page. In another words, 1FUR1 doubled the first year grant goal and currently works with 15 assisted living facilities where close to 100 residents reap the many benefits of the human-animal bond, each month.
According to the facility newsletter on this grant program the Activity Director of an active facility remarked; “Last week Amanda brought two kittens and the residents who attended our ‘Cuddle a Kitty’ group had huge smiles on their faces… The cats have a calming presence and many of the residents like to hold the cats, give them treats, or play with their toys. Thank you so much for sponsoring this incredible program. It definitely makes a difference…”
There is even more benefits this grant program delivered, which we didn’t foresee. The cats’ participation in the AAA visits showed potential adopters that these cats were “socialized.” Their personalities are warm and gentle around people in facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, and domestic violence shelters. Therefore we witnessed a spike in adoption – 89 cats were adopted as a result.
The best news is that though the year is coming to a close, 1 FUR 1’s partnership with Tree House Humane Society is not. Our second grant period will build upon the success already delivered by acquiring more active facilities and providing new strategies that offer sustainable growth for this program, its volunteers and supporters. That is how 1 FUR 1 Foundation shows our commitment to ‘Helping Animals Heal People’.