The Topic: Make a Little Money
The Dish: When money is tight, exercising your inner do-gooder can be difficult. Sure, you'd love to donate to the local animal shelter or sanctuary, but sometimes cutting your budget isn't an option. Of course, money isn't the only thing that non-profits need—volunteering is a huge help. But if there's a particular cause in need of funding, there is hope. The solution? Get creative.
Of course, there's the tried-and-true bake sale. Who doesn't love cookies and cupcakes? VN columnist Laura Beck helps organize San Francisco's insanely successful vegan bake sale series (raising and donating more than $18,000 to date), and she's shared plenty of sage wisdom on how to parlay your skills into a successful sugar-filled fundraiser. If baking isn't your forte, don't fret.
Recently, Laura's rescued pit bull, Hazel, had to undergo major surgery. The bill reached into the thousands, and worst of all, a second surgery may be necessary. Being her genius self, she decided to take action. This past Sunday, seven shameless friends (myself and Laura included), most lacking actual musical talent, got on stage at a local bar and played a benefit concert for Hazel. Our band, Dino Bike, practiced a mere three times before performing. We publicized the event like crazy and put on a ridiculous spectacle only to be cheered because it was a benefit. I mean ridiculous—ribbon dancing, Lady Gaga covers, and a Top Gun medley. There were even vegan cupcakes for sale, which of course sold out. The result? Dino Bike raised more than $500 for Hazel, simply by sacrificing a little dignity and having a great time doing it.
The Final Word: Whether you decide to bake cupcakes, start a band, host a yard sale, or sell lemonade, there are so many ways you can help animals. Gathering as many friends and volunteers as possible helps lessen the load, and the end result is guaranteed to make your efforts totally worth it.