Happy New Year!
But it is important to take a deep breath and also look at 2020 with gratitude and appreciation. Yes, there was great strife and turmoil and so much loss for so many. We need to deeply honor that and hold a healing in our hearts for all who need healing and compassion. We need to hold a deep space of compassion in all of our hearts for those of us feeling lost, alone, and wounded. The animals teach us that being in our hearts and simply being present is the greatest healing and gift of compassion that we can give. And all of us can do that.
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that we are indeed not alone. We are so interconnected on this planet that it has never been more obvious. We need each other. We need to look out for one another. We need to be here for one another. In fact, we can’t do it any other way.
We also learned in 2020 that we have the incredible ability to help our planet in ways that many believed were too far gone and hopeless. 2020 shows us that there is much hope and so much we can do to help our environment in major ways. Mother Earth felt us reconnect. We must carry that connection forward and let it deepen.
2020 reminded us how much we value the ones we love. We need one another and we need to stay connected. Sometimes we don’t realize how we take things for granted until we miss having them. 2020 reminded us of all we have to be grateful for in our lives.
So, let’s walk into 2021 now with hope and gratitude and love and compassion. It is time for humanity to realize the love that we are so capable of giving and sharing. Let’s remember to breathe with the Earth and take a moment each day to connect with our own hearts. We have been shown a new opportunity. It’s up to us now to dream a new way into being. We hold the vision of the future in our hearts.
We wish you all the best for the new year. We will be connecting with you in new ways this year. And, most of all, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Blessings from all of the creatures, animal and human, of Spring Farm CARES
This year has been a challenging year for most everyone. The animals of Spring Farm CARES have really missed their visitors so they decided to come find you for themselves. This special edition of our December 2020 newsletter is written by the animals themselves. We hope you enjoy it. Please use the link below to open and download your pdf version.
For those of you who are on our mailing list to get your hard copy version, like everything else this year, things are moving slower due to Covid. We are told the delivery will take longer. Hopefully, you will see them next week. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this pdf version.
We are preparing for our 30th Anniversary in 2021 and going through some archive newsletters and publications etc. Here is a flashback moment to share with all of you. In 2000, an independent film maker named Kathy High, made a wonderful 60 minute film about Dawn’s animal communication and Spring Farm CARES. The film was shown at the prestigious Guggenheim Museum as well as the Virginia Film Festival. It was also shown on PBS in New York City where it got rave reviews. Although filmed and produced 20 years ago, it still is a wonderful representation of what Spring Farm CARES is all about.
All but one of the animals in this film have all passed into spirit as have several of the humans who participated. We also use this as a tribute and thanks to all of them for having enriched our lives and for helping to get us to where we are today.
We are having an art contest for ages K-12 for Posters, Poetry, & Photography categories. The winning artist in each age category will receive an animal sponsorship for a Spring Farm CARES animal of their choice ($100 value). We have supporters from all over the world. Let’s make this an event from around the world in honor of how connected we really all are and how much we need one another and the animals and planet. Click the link below for contest rules and to download an entry form!
In Memory and with gratitude we pay tribute to a very special human –
Are you experiencing a barrage of COVID-19 emails, news broadcasts, articles, and posts? Like us, are you starting to go on overload? Well, we have pleasant breaks to offer you.
Our newsletters over the years have occasionally mentioned our 250-acre Nature Sanctuary. It is as much a part of our mission as is the Animal Sanctuary. But we never really did justice to that extraordinary place. Thus, several months ago, we decided that, once a year, we would send out a newsletter devoted entirely to the Nature Sanctuary. The first issue was in the works with our printer before we really knew much about the Covid-19 virus, or comprehended how much it would upend the lives of all of us – physically, mentally, financially – and spiritually. That first issue went out just last week. Some of you might already have received a hard copy, and we have attached a link to your newsletter copy below. We are happy to be able to offer this newsletter at this time. We believe that it will be a balm to aching minds.
By the way, some who got the hard copy were alarmed, thinking that we were no longer operating our Animal Sanctuary, or that our mission has changed.
No way. We proceed as usual. Our staff is considered essential, so that everyone can still come to work and nothing has changed in the care of our animals. We are closed to volunteers and visitors, and some planned events have had to be cancelled or put on hold, but we are following a rigorous protocol of hygiene, are all so far healthy, and the Spring Farm CARES mission holds fast. We will have challenges ahead. Once we are through the health crisis, we will all come together to deal with the economic fallout.
Our mission is needed more than ever right now. Because humanity needs to be reminded of the true core of our world. Peace, beauty, and love. We believe that, as the entire world goes through this crisis together, we will become stronger and more connected with one another and with our planet and with all of nature. That is indeed what the Spring Farm CARES mission is all about.
There will be tragedies aplenty. Yet something amazing will come out of this. And, while this is going on, we are posting an uplifting animal message, with photos and videos, on our Facebook page and website each day. We hope that you will share your newsletter and the links to Facebook and our website with those who might need some sunshine in their days.
Our best wishes are with you, as well as gratitude and appreciation for your continued support. Do a lot of deep breathing. That reduces stress and protects your immune system!
Blessings to you all,
Bonnie, Dawn, and Margot – Directors
Spring Farm CARES was featured in an episode of More to The Story from WPBS in Watertown. This episode features animal sanctuaries in their viewing area. Please click on the link below to view the show.
People have been asking what we are doing for the animals during the quarantine in New York State. Rest assured, the animals are being cared for as normal. As an animal sanctuary, our staff are considered essential personnel and they are reporting to work. It is critical that they are healthy and able to come in to care for the animals. In keeping with that, we closed our facility a week ago to volunteers and visitors. We do extra cleaning and disinfecting of the areas where our staff work. We already are operating on minimal staff needed. We are all observing social distancing and hand washing.
We are doing the best we can to keep life as normal as possible for the animals. Right now, they follow the same daily routines as they have been. As always, their care comes first and foremost and we continue day by day. Right now we need to get through the public health crisis. After that, like everyone else, we will need to face the economic impact.
We especially want to say how grateful we are to our staff as well as all of the essential personnel out there keeping our communities going as best they can. People are giving a lot to help our communities and we all owe them our deepest gratitude and appreciation.
We thank you for your support and thoughts and prayers as we send ours to you as well.
Announcement for our volunteers, visitors, and those looking for tours –
We know with the schools closed now especially, that people are looking for tours to come visit the animals. However, we are temporarily suspending all tours, visits, and volunteers for two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak. The greatest responsibility we have is to the care of our animals. And the greatest way we can care for them is to ensure the health and safety of their human caretakers. We need them all here to care for the animals 7 days a week.
We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. We will reassess the situation April 1st.
Thank you to Broadway Utica for your support!
A huge thank you to all of our donors and supporters! We did reach the $30,000 goal for our matching donation! We are so grateful to all of you!
It is not just your financial support that helps us. Your words of support and encouragement and energy and prayers all help us to keep going, even on the hardest of days. We cannot do this without you.
We look forward to doing so much more together.
With our heartfelt thanks and best wishes for the new year,
Bonnie, Dawn, Margot and the staff of Spring Farm CARES.
Your December Newsletter is Here!
A very generous donor has pledged to match up to $30,000 of donations from now until December 31st. That means every penny you donate will be matched. This includes monthly donors as well as animal sponsorship donations.
Today marked another milestone day for Spring Farm CARES. Those of you driving by probably wondered what was going on with all the cranes. Sadly, two of our three windmills had a catastrophic failure this past month. Even more sad is that it was due to negligence in how they were assembled when they were installed. Turbines that we thought we’d have for 20-30 years were suddenly made useless after 11 years. Although the parts to fix the problem were not that expensive, the turbines could only be repaired by taking them down, and then putting them back up again, and that was a huge expense.
We made the decision to take the turbines and towers down and call it a day on our wind project. Our goal is to add to our solar arrays to make up the difference for what we lose in generation from the wind. Thankfully, the infrastructure for the windmills can be used for solar generation.
The purpose of our wind and solar project has always been to be able to provide for our animal sanctuary if there were a prolonged outage of the grid. And, as important, to lessen our footprint environmentally. Twelve years ago, as this project was put together, wind power was the way to go for us and held an advantage that solar did not offer. Today, with advancing technology, that is no longer true. So, you can say, that we needed to shift to where the winds take us next. While the windmills end an era of their own today, the sun will come up tomorrow on the next generation and we will move ahead.
A special thanks to Rig-All for coming so quickly with their cranes and expertise to help us get these down before winter set in.
Message To Our Friends And Supporters:
The running of an animal sanctuary is both rewarding and exhausting in its complexity. Many times, two equally worthy situations come up at odds with one another. This is one such time for Spring Farm CARES. In times like these, we always need to reach back down to the roots and foundation of our mission. We have a responsibility to the mission of Spring Farm CARES and to the animals and nature for whom we are custodians. We must never lose sight of that mission.
For the past twenty years, Spring Farm CARES has operated and financed the Happy Hearth Spay/Neuter Program. During that time, we spent over $2.5 million and spay/neutered over 80,000 animals – with over 60,000 of those being in Oneida County alone. The spay/neuter financial assistance program was aimed at low income families in Oneida County. This program was never part of our original mission. However, we saw a need in our community that no one else was filling, and we dedicated some of our funds to try and help.
Sadly, the time has come for us to make the difficult decision to end this program in order to maintain the financial health of our organization as we look to our future. First and foremost, the animals in our sanctuary are our top priority. We make a pledge to every animal that comes in our doors to be guaranteed a place to live for the remainder of their lives. Over 200 animals call our sanctuary home. We must always be sure that we have the funding to guarantee their care for all of them until the day they die. Their very lives depend upon our financial health. Every year in this country, we hear about animal sanctuaries who fold due to lack of funds – leaving their animals with no place to go. It is imperative that we care for our finances with the same dedication and diligence that we do the animals themselves.
The spay/neuter assistance program puts a strain on our finances, and the truth is that it is also not the focus of our mission. That mission is to be a center where people can come meet these great animals and learn of the importance of animals and nature and the well-being of the Earth herself. Never has there been a time where this is more important than now.
We look at the numbers of animals who have been helped in our community through our program and are humbled to have been a part of this. However, we also walk through our cat rooms where over 160 cats reside, as well as the barn where our horses, donkeys, ponies, goats, pigs, sheep and poultry live and we look into their eyes and are reminded daily what we are here to do and the commitment that we have made to each one of them.
We are here for the human/animal/nature bond to be rekindled, and even discovered for the first time, by many visitors. People are as much our focus as are animals. We believe and hold close to our mission that the human heart needs to reconnect to animals and nature to remember what we all can do together. We will still be here as a resource to our community, only not in the form of financial aid, but in the form of education and healing of which no price tag can even be placed. The human heart will always be at the center of what we do.
We are turning the page of one chapter, and opening to the next. We will be focusing on education, both for children and adults, to help the human heart come back into connection with each other, the animals, nature, and the planet as a whole. We are digging back down into our roots and reaching for the stars.
For the entire month of August, you can purchase a reusable bag at the Hannaford’s in Clinton, NY (55 Meadow St.) and they will donate $1 from each bag to Spring Farm CARES. It’s a win/win for the environment and for the animals!
We thank Hannaford’s for choosing our organization and for offering this to local charities each month! Thank you Hannaford’s for supporting the community!