2015 New Year Message
A message from VOKRA's Karen Duncan
As we launch into 2015 I want to say how much all of us appreciate the support VOKRA is given. We receive that support each day from our donors and supporters, our cat care and reception volunteers at our Operations Centre, our drivers, our fosters, our adoptions team, our foster co-ordinators, our new medical team, our TNR trappers, our foster interviewers, our volunteer coordinators, our photography team, our vaccination team, our barn volunteers, our database managers, our gift card sales coordinators, and many more. It is thanks to the dedication of all these people that we saw VOKRA grow and get stronger in 2014. Thank you.
Things have changed a great deal since 1999 when Maria and I started trying to organize a group to care for the tiny orphan kittens who had no hope of surviving without round the clock care. As we have grown, the need for bottle feeders has gone down, due primarily to TNR work done by us and other groups around the Lower Mainland. But the need has grown in other areas and we continue to rescue abandoned and homeless cats and kittens in huge numbers. Over 1825 kittens and cats came into our care this year. Clearly, fifteen years later, VOKRA is still very much needed.
This past year has been one of enormous change for us. In Nov 2013 we took possession of our new building and, after years of running things primarily from my home, we began four long months of creating our dream Intake Centre. Massive amounts of work were done in locating and leasing the building and designing it. People came forward to build the pods, paint, and refinish the floors. Wonderful low cost (and sometimes no cost!) furnishing and building supplies were found through connections to the film & television production community. Generous cash donations made the rest possible. So many people contributed their time, talents and resources to make our dream come true. What started out as a huge, empty warehouse space was transformed into our amazing Operations Centre and we continue to be grateful to everyone who made it happen. Thank you. In March we opened and became extremely busy immediately. No soft opening for us. We hit the ground running and haven't stopped since.
VOKRA officially became a BC Not-for-Profit Society this year (we are already a federal charity) and continued to grow and strengthen both our operations and our governance teams. We welcomed some great new key volunteers and some skilled new members to our Board of Directors. Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to help our organization be the best it can be.
We had an extremely successful 5th Annual Walk For The Kitties, raising over $50,000. Our online auctions, pub nights, Oscar Night at the Morrisey Pub, our first craft sale, our "Donate 6 for Karen's 60th" campaign and, of course, generous individual donations--both monthly and one-time--all helped us meet the enormous needs of our very large no-kill rescue. Thank you to everyone who walked, bid, crafted, partied and, most of all, donated.
Various grants and generous vet clinics helped us spay/neuter owned cats and our TNR teams prevented hundreds of kittens from being born into a world where too many are already without homes of their own. Thank you so much.
VOKRA rescued over 1825 kittens and cats in 2014 with over 1381 of those cats being placed in loving, forever homes. To all our adopters who have opened your homes and your hearts to VOKRA cats, thank you.
Thank you, each of you, for your support of VOKRA cats and kittens in 2014. We could not do any of this without you and your generous gifts of time and donations.
We wish you a very Happy, Healthy New Year. Stay tuned for future plans and dreams in 2015!
Bless you all
Karen Duncan, VOKRA President Emeritus
and all of us at VOKRA