Monday, October 13, 2008

Donate to Prop 2 for my birthday

Please! Please! Stop the insane cruelty to animals. Help improve conditions for the "farm" animals. Enjoy eating meat if you must, but please give the animals a life that is enjoyable first. Please pass this on to your friends. I am by no means trying to talk you out of eating meat, I am only trying to talk you into realizing the ramifications that come along with purchasing large factory farm meat. Proposition 2 will help the food that you eat to be better for you too. Unless you are in California, you will not be able to vote on this proposition. However, by donating to the cause, you will help get the proposition passed that stops animals from being caged where they are unable to move. Please watch the cute video. It is cuter than my write up...PLEASE DONATE NOW!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Letter to Oprah

I was watching Oprah the other day. I TiVo it, and it was an episode that followed up her puppy mill episode. I know that Oprah surely gets thousands of letters a day asking for her support, but I thought that it could not hurt to try. She does love animals and kids, right? If you think that what we are doing is a good thing, email Oprah and let her know. I say, the more the merrier. Maybe we can get something started here in St. Louis that will help dogs and kiddos all in one. This is the letter we sent her:

Dear Oprah Winfrey,

I am sitting here watching your September 25th show regarding the follow up to your puppy mill show. I am incredibly sad that the puppy mills, as well as the laws in so many states are not better for the helpless animals that need them. I live in St. Louis, MO and have incorporated a non-profit called Creative Animal Rescue and Art Education Center. Our objective is to care for, rehabilitate and find homes for pets in need. We will also be a facility that offers a camp for troubled young people. The young people will learn to help care for the animals, they will observe veterinarians rehabilitating the animals, they will help feed the animals and make sure the facilities are clean. We will also offer art classes throughout the week that will focus on animal related topics. At the end of the week we will have a showing of all of the artwork as well as an educational tour of the rescue camp for family and friends of the youth at the camp. It is our belief that through nurturing, education and care for animals, we will create more responsible citizens. We also believe that the creative aspect of our camp will give the youth an outlet to express their beliefs, frustrations and issues regarding everyday life, as well as how they feel about animals. We will have therapists on hand to council the children and to work with them through their troubles. Our biggest problem is lack of funding. I am currently a foster for another rescue that feeds and takes in strays when foster homes are available. We do not want to start rescuing animals through Creative Rescue until we have a facility in which we can house them. It is important to our mission that there is an educational aspect to our rescue as well. If there is any way you can donate to our cause, we would be so grateful. Thank you so much for caring about the animals and thank you for everything you do.


Creative Animal Rescue
Amie Simmons

Monday, September 8, 2008

Board Members Needed!

I know this is starting to look like a jewelry blog, but it is how I am raising money for the rescue and to send myself to the Best Friends "How to Start a Sanctuary" workshop. I need a little guidance to say the very least. The feedback we have received has been wonderful, and I am feeling good about the speed at which I am taking things. Thank you everyone for your support. It has really been amazing to see and hear how many people are there for this cause. What we are in great need of, and I am not sure how to find is folks who are interested in being on the board. I mean people who are really interested in giving their time and selves to this cause. Not that it would have to take over your life, but it would have to be something that is near and dear to your heart. If you are at all interested, please contact me. I hope everyone had a great weekend and was able to enjoy this beautiful weather we are having. If you are not having beautiful weather, I am sorry. You should be in St. Louis right now. It is fabulous.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The balance of life and a rescue

Things have slowed down a little for me with starting up the rescue. I am beginning to realize that this cannot happen over night and to try to make it happen that fast will cause burnout, which I do not want to happen. I suppose the lesson here is that while beginning something this huge, one has to keep focus on all aspects of life. I tend to get so wrapped up in one thing that I let go of all of the others.

At this point we are working to get stores to allow us to set up and "table". We will inform people about what we are planning and ask for donations. I am reading a fundraising book, and it is making me nervous because it seems to lean mostly toward direct mail. I just don't know how well that will work, and it is such an investment. I am tweaking our logo to add a tag. This is what I have come up with for the tag so far. Tell me what you think. I have had kind of a difficult time coming up with it and making it timeless, not cheesy, and incorporating it into the current design that you see at the top of this blog.
Here is another issue we have run into. We knew getting into this that it would cost to startup. However, it is difficult to come up with all of the startup money. That is why it is so important that we begin fundraising. We also need more people to be involved. It is very difficult to come to a decision of who you want to be on the board. Once money starts to get involved, everything may get tricky. If certain people are able to give more, they may feel entitled to have more pull. This is not the case in a non profit. It is important to keep in mind and trust that everyone is doing and giving what they are capable of giving. It is important to keep an open mind. As soon as I get this darn logo worked out, we will start selling t-shirts and bags. You can carry us around everywhere you go then! More to come...

Friday, August 15, 2008

"This Glows for a Great Cause"

jennreese7 created this treasury, and featured us as one of the artists. She wrote such a nice entry about us as well. Thank you so much Jenn. What you did was so nice and unexpected. We really appreciate it!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My new favorite Vegan Recipes!

Vegan Hashbrown Potatoes

Tomato Basil Salad

I stopped eating dairy and eggs for animal rights purposes. Because of the abuses the animals suffer due to factory farming, I choose not to ignore these issues. If you are interested in learning more about Factory Farming, pick up the Farm Sanctuary Book I spoke about in the last entry. Such a great book! I am a healthy eater in general. Pretty much like the taste of all food. Sometimes I have to splurge on rich delicious foods. I am human, right? I love food as something that brings people together. I love to feed people and for them to love it. Since I went vegan about 2 months ago, I miss the foods that I used to enjoy. I miss cooking for groups of people, and them really loving it. I have discovered that in this day in age, those super smart engineers have created relatively natural products that are similar to the dairy products I used to cook with. I cannot subsist off of strictly veggies and bread. It is just not possible for me. I want to be able to eat the things that I used to eat, but I will not eat dairy or eggs until there is legislation for the animals. Here are two recipes that I thoroughly enjoy eating still. I used to put fresh mozzarella in my Tomato Basil salad. I honestly did not think it would be the same without the mozz. But, it is just as delicious! It is perfect for a fresh summer salad!

And then the Vegan Hashbrown Potatoes I have been promising. I have been working on this recipe for a couple of weeks. I finally got it. If you bring these to a BBQ, or family function, no one will even know they are different. Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Salad

1 Tomato

1/4 of an Onion

Stale bread (the staler the better)

3 large basil leaves

Balsamic Vinaigrette to your tasting

Splash of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut up all of the ingredients, throw in a bowl, douse with the liquids and enjoy!

Vegan Hashbrown Potatoes

16 oz. bag of organic potatoes O'brien (the little squared kind)

2 cups soy shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup Vegenaise

1/4 cup Soy Yogurt or Soy Sour Cream

2 tbs Nutritional Yeast (because it's good for you!)
1 tbs Ground Flax seed (because it's good for you too!)

1 tsp roasted vegetable cooking base or 1 cube veggie boullian (you can also replace this with any sort of Dried French Onion Soup Packet (preferably organic)

3 cups Organic Corn Flakes (Crushed)

4 heaping Tbs Soy Garden Buttery Spread, or any other Vegan Butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thaw the potatoes. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except half of the butter and the Corn Flakes. In a separate bowl crush the corn flakes and then stir in the melted butter. Put the potato mixture in a casserole dish, and cover the top of the potatoes with the Corn Flake mixture. Cook for 30 minutes until bubbly and hot.
***If you buy the 32 oz bag of hash browned potatoes (the little squared kind), just double the recipe!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dogs Rule

I just finished reading the Best Friends book. What a wonderfully positive and uplifting book. I would highly recommend it. It really confirmed to me that what we are doing is right. I cannot wait until the day we can truly start making a difference in animal's and young people's lives. By exposing our youth to the unconditional love that an animal gives we can change the way the younger generations look at life. It gives them something to care about, something to work for. There was a great part in the Best Friends book where an angry boy grudgingly visited the camp with his classmates. He made fun of the animals, made fun of the caretakers, and was all around just rotten. That is until they sent him off with an old dog on a walk. When he came back, his only response was, "that dog is cool!" And then in class afterward he even stood up in front of all of the kids that he is the ring leader to, and said what a good experience visiting those animals was. It softened his heart.

After all of my warm and fuzzy moments with the Best Friends book, I picked up the Farm Sanctuary book. This book, is quite opposite from the former. The author, Gene Bauer, really tells it like it is. I love how candid he is about the factory farming in Western countires. It is horrifying to me that human beings can have such little heart when it comes to other creatures. Had those human beings gone to a camp like ours, I bet they wouldn't be doing all of those horrible things to animals today.

Oh, and the photo above is a new edition to our Etsy Shop. Stay tuned because I have so many new pieces that I want to make and post, including more necklaces, some paintings, and of course more sock animals. I haven't forgotten about the Hashbrown Potato recipe, either. I promise I will post it soon. Be safe everyone, and have a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Meet Henry the Dog

This is Henry the Dog. He is 100% handmade. He would really like to come home with you. If you are interested in Henry the Dog, he comes with an official adoption certificate and a hand stamped tag, just in case he runs off. All of the proceeds from Henry go to our rescue. For more information about adopting Henry, please visit our Etsy Shop.

I just finished writing our bylaws and filling out our 1023 application. I have to say, that the book How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation was incredibly helpful. It allowed me to complete the application without hiring a lawyer, as well as cut time in half by giving explanations on answers to some of the questions. We are still going to have a lawyer look over the completed form. I am hopeful that a nice lawyer will volunteer his/her services to help us with obtaining our 501(c)(3).

We also were able to obtain our non profit incorporation certificate, our EIN, as well as open a bank account this week. All of these things seem like a lot, but I do believe that the hard part is only to come. I think fund raising is going to be the most interesting and difficult obstacle as of yet. I hope you all are doing well! Stay tuned, I will be posting a delicious recipe for Vegan Hashbrown Potatoes soon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer Vegan Smoothie

This is my favorite recipe for a smoothie. I used to think that in order for my smoothie to be creamy and delicious, I had to use frozen yogurt. Not true. I actually like it better without. The key is to use frozen fruit. I like to buy organic frozen bags of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I use fresh bananas to make it smooth, like a smoothie. Use the fruit to your liking. I usually use the most strawberries, less raspberries, and the least amount of blueberries. I usually throw in some crushed flax seed to get those great omega 3's too. If it is too thick, just add some water. How do you like your smoothie?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Heart Guard

This necklace is hand fabricated by me, Amie Simmons. You can find it in my etsy shop. 100% of the proceeds from your purchase of this necklace will go to Creative Animal Rescue.

This is just one of the many ways we will be raising money for our rescue. There will be a lot of art offered, as well as cute little handmade stuffed animals. All of the proceeds will go to our rescue.

Raising funds, researching grants, filling out the paper work to incorporate, preparing for our kick off party, and reading about other rescue's adventures is where we are right now. It is all a little overwhelming, but a lot of fun. We are working through all of it, and hope to come out bright and shiny like this necklace on the other side with all of the saved animals.

I hope everyone is doing well. We would love to hear ideas for fund raising if anyone has any to offer. We are planning to have a big kick off party with bands, food, beverages, art, etc. It will most likely be next spring. I think the fall would be too soon for us to get it together.

Don't forget to give your pups their Heart Guard!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Beginning

Creative Animal Rescue and Art Education Center is a startup non profit. We are in the beginning stages of learning how to successfully achieve our dream. The dream being to ultimately open a sanctuary for animals, as well as a camp for children. The idea behind the rescue is to nurture responsibility and empathy in young people through caring for animals and through art education. We believe that art and rescue work can help our younger generations to grow into productive, responsible and loving citizens. Our first step toward this dream is to attend the "How to start a Sanctuary Workshop" at Best Friends Animal Society. We will begin raising money for this adventure as soon as we receive our EIN number from the State of Missouri.

The reasons we have started this blog are many; to educate the public on animal awareness as well as how this awareness, combined with art can help change our society; to gain public support for our cause; and finally to document every step of beginning a rescue with very high ambitions. This document will serve as a blueprint for others who would like to start their own rescue. We will document the obstacles and the achievements. We would love to hear your feedback on what we are doing. We are open to suggestions and advice. And last but not least, we are so excited to get to know all of you.