Be the Change with Change – pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars
When your change is added to others, and still others, the numbers start adding up. And this change can make a big difference to our furry four-legged friends at local shelters. It can also make a big difference to pet owners searching for affordable spay/neuter programs.
In Maine, there are three easy ways to help our feline friends.
- The first is by supporting the tax check-off form on the Maine State Income Tax Form.
- The second is by getting your shelter involved with CLYNK, a Maine recycling company with a bottle redemption system through Hannaford. The shelter gets special bags; you tag the bag with the shelter’s name, and drop them off at the Hannaford bottle redemption site closes to you.
- The third is to deposit your change in shelter donation boxes located in area businesses.
In these challenging economic times, one way to help our four-legged friends is to belly up the change – the pennies, nickels, quarters and dollars. We can’t even buy a candy bar with that change. For shelters around the country, especially those in your neighborhood, these pennies can add up into a substantial donation
The Franklin County Animal Shelter has donation boxes in businesses throughout the county. Believe it or not, this is one of their major revenue sources in a very economically challenged area.
The CLYNK recycling program offered through Hannaford grocery stores in Maine allows shelters, and other non-profit organizations, to sign up for designated bottle redemption. Maine has a returnable bottle law. From 5 to 15 cents is paid out on returned beverage bottles.
While CLYNK’s mission is to make recycling easier, and offer educational resources showing customers how their personal recycling positively impacts our environment. They have now partnered with Hannaford to create our Community Cash fund-raising program for community organizations. This is where your shelter can benefit.
It’s as simple as going to clynk.com, creating an account, registering your card, and checking your balance. Also helps you track your environmental impact by returning your bottles. A quick check found the Franklin County Shelter has received over 2,700 containers.
And then there’s the tax check-off. Last year, the Maine Legislature considered removing the spay/neuter $1 check-off from state income tax forms. With mountains of opposition, the check-off survived. But now it’s up to Mainer’s to make sure it stays.
The Legislature stipulated it must receive $10,000 in donations this year, and increase $3,000 per year till it reaches $25,000 by 2017 to remain on the tax form.
Program supporters inundated Maine legislators email accounts asking for the check-offs to be saved, according to Susan Hall, of the Spay/ME low-cost spay/neuter program. That program offers low-cost spay/neuter clinics in parts of the state where these services are not very accessible.
Hall pointed out the charitable tax check-offs have been saved, but the political party check-offs will be removed.
All of the check-offs will be reviewed by the legislature again in 2017.
She said legislators have asked that the check-off line on the front page of the tax form be made more obvious so it is clear that the tax check-offs are for charitable causes. Previously, she said it had not been obvious.
This is serious because there is no grace period. If a group does not reach the threshold each year they will be removed from the form the next year.
Hall said this is a little scary, so please help spread the word on the check off. The check-off is called “The Companion Animal Sterilization Fund” and it is on Maine Schedule CP. The funds are used for the animals most in need – and that’s cats. Pit bulls also qualify.
Think of what that $1 donation can mean to thousands of people who need help spaying or neutering their cats. As for dogs, only pit bull owners can apply.
That $1 multiplied by thousands, those quarters multiplied by thousands, those $1 or $2 returned bottles multiplied by thousands – just think of how many pets can be helped. Think about how many shelters can give the animals a little more TLC. And think about how many cats can be spay/neutered.
Supporting all these ideas is doable for most of us. And just think the difference it will make to these animals.
If you’re a true pet person, give your change to make the change!
These ideas all work in Maine, but what about your state. What types of programs are available where you can give change to help shelters and low-cost spay/neuter programs?