Written by Founder/Executive Director, Britton Slagle
KarmaSue truly had a banner year thanks to you – our supporters, donors, community partners, families (those that utilize our programs) and crew (our awesome volunteers). I’ve personally seen this organization and everyone involved with it grow; it’s amazing to watch. All of the successes and growing pains of the year are earned, valued, and completely worth it. I’d like to dedicate this year end letter to all of you. I hope you enjoy reading about our development and walk away from it with a sense of pride because YOU helped Coloradan families enduring companion animal cancer. If you like what we do and can help us as we grow, please make a contribution to KarmaSue via our Crowdrise fundraiser, website, or directly through PayPal or Venmo, just search Britton Slagle. Lots of love to you.
KarmaSue hosted four education workshops in 2018. We were able to dive into various types of cancer in a series facilitated by our own Board member, Dr. Katie Braddock of Plum Creek Veterinary Services in Castle Rock. We also provided a series that focused specifically on exotic animals. Thanks to Devin Jaffe and her team at Nature’s Educators, participants learned about forms of cancer found in birds and reptiles and how to care for exotics, which many of us have as companion animals as well. Thanks to our facilitators, Coloradan families have a better understanding of many cancers that impact a variety of species with which we share our lives and homes. Education workshops will continue to be offered quarterly in 2019!
We also offered four unique counseling workshops this year. Participants were able to paint portraits of their pets and create handmade journals in which they can keep special memories of their companion animals. We ventured out into nature as a group to enjoy the outdoors and reflect on the connections we have with our companion animals (both past and present) and we hosted a very special grief workshop earlier this month that allowed all of us to bond over the lives we share(d) with our pets and how losing our friends has changed our lives. All of these workshops gave families the opportunity to feel their feelings in settings void of judgment with others that truly understand and appreciate the connections they share with their pets. We look forward to creating more unique experiences for families to honor the human-animal connection next year.
Financial Support Program
KarmaSue rolled-out the financial support program in January, 2018. This program supports families with expenses associated with a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to our generous donors, we were able to offer financial assistance to two families enduring companion animal cancer. The first companion animal is ten-year-old Kashus (featured in this video and pictured above-left). He had his leg amputated as a result of osteosarcoma, but is now free of extreme pain! Ally (his mom) did an amazing job raising funds and finding resources to pay for treatment, she just needed a little more help. With the assistance of KarmaSue’s financial support program, Ally can spend more quality time with Kashus and less time worrying about how to pay much of the veterinary bill balance. Ally recently announced that she and Kashus are celebrating eight months post amputation and diagnosis! We are so grateful for the opportunity to meet and assist this family in 2018. We are rooting for you, Ally and Kashus!
We are also grateful to have met Crystal and Harley-Grey (pictured above-right). Harley-Grey was a one and a half year old Rottweiler diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Unfortunately, Harley-Grey lost her fight with cancer on November 2nd. The KarmaSue Crew was with the family as Harley-Grey passed at home and helped coordinate services for her. We have not left Crystal’s side since she came to us for help in September, and we would not have it any other way. In fact, Crystal joined our grief workshop from Michigan via FaceTime. Harley-Grey took a piece of all of our hearts when she left. We learned so much from this family that we are adding an important project to the financial support program next year. Stay tuned for an announcement in January to see how this special, emotional experience will positively impact KarmaSue families in the future.
The Second Annual Boogie On event – The Amazing Race Edition held in July was a huge success! Five teams of four encountered road blocks, detours, and checkpoints that challenged them mentally and physically. People and pups joined us for the race and a fun after party with a silent auction, snacks, and prizes! Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we beat our fundraising goal and raised over $1,400! Our Fundraising Committee is already hard at work planning the next Boogie On event!
KarmaSue expanded its group of community partnerships from eight to seventeen! Community partners support our mission by offering assistance, discounts, education, and more to KarmaSue families in order to honor the human-animal connection. Most recently, KarmaSue has added the following nonprofits and businesses as valued community partners: Morris Animal Foundation, The Brodie Fund, VRCC, Colorado Home Euthanasia, Spay Today, Neuter Now!, Thriving Pets International, and Colorado Pet Pantry. Starting in January, KarmaSue and The Brodie Fund will begin collaborating to help families obtaining oncology services through VRCC. This partnership allows both organizations to increase impact and support families more completely. We appreciate these important partnerships and are invested in their missions and scopes of work. Thank you, community partners!
Last, but certainly not least, we have expanded the KarmaSue Crew and it continues to grow! We’ve had new members join our team to enhance outreach efforts and expand our capacity to support the community. Thanks to our volunteers, we were able to participate in our first cat convention, make headway in our marketing plan, and increase our ability to raise funds with the goal of supporting Coloradan families enduring companion animal cancer in mind. I cannot express enough gratitude to this team. They work tirelessly and never complain; I am forever indebted to them. To each KarmaSue Crew member – thank you. Please take a moment to enjoy what you have helped create this year.
A Note to our Donors
You have been loyal, compassionate, and so generous. We thank you for your commitment to KarmaSue’s mission and faith in our ability to provide needed programs to families enduring companion animal cancer. Because of you, we were able to provide thoughtful workshops each quarter and help two families fighting companion animal cancer with costs associated with a cancer diagnosis. You allow us to continue this work. We look forward to sharing more stories with you in 2019 about families just like Ally and Kashus and Crystal and Harley-Grey. Although some may be emotional and heartbreaking, all will be inspiring and full of hope. The stories will continue highlighting the human-animal connection in all its beauty. After all, that is why KarmaSue exists, to support Coloradan families enduring companion animal cancer in an effort to honor the human-animal connection.
We hope that you have enjoyed learning about what the KarmaSue Crew has been up to this year and that you are just as excited for 2019 as we are; it’s going to be another great year! Being an all-volunteer organization allows us to allocate 100 percent of contributions to programs. To help us continue our work, please consider making a contribution to KarmaSue via several easy options: our Crowdrise fundraiser, website, or directly through PayPal or Venmo, just search Britton Slagle. Thank you again! We are so grateful for ALL OF YOU!
Follow KarmaSue on Social Media
Are you on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter? So are we! Head over to our social media pages and connect with us today! Now, thanks to Erica Jaffe and Staccato Productions, we even have our own YouTube channel! Head over to our social media pages and connect with us today!
As always, thank you for your continued support of KarmaSue. This is OUR organization; it is just as much yours as it is ours. Thank you for your part in our journey.
With Gratitude and Love,
Britton J. Slagle