Gimme 5! Nutmeg reaches a milestone

Founder’s Report 2019

Mother Teresa famously observed that “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” A humble woman who dedicated her adult life to the business of administering charity, she remains an inspiration to many, including us at Nutmeg Animal Welfare.

It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since we first filed paperwork with the State of Rhode Island to incorporate Nutmeg. Six months later, in November 2014, the Internal Revenue Service also approved our application for 501(c)(3) charitable status.

Ever since, we’ve been heeding Mother Teresa’s wise words, doing many relatively small things with great love for the underprivileged animals of this world. In five years, we’ve grown steadily from an organization with zero dollars in our bank account to one capable of spending thousands of dollars annually to fulfill our stated mission of “caring for needy animals everywhere.”

Over these past five years, we’ve done just that, dotting the globe to make friends with fellow animal welfare advocates in countries on five continents since our inception. During our most recent fifth year in operation, Nutmeg’s accomplishments included:

  • Setting a new organizational record by providing approximately $10,000 in relief supplies/services/inventory to needy animals and partner organizations over the past 12 months;
  • Successfully coordinating our first-ever rescue efforts, saving the lives of eight dogs in distress (three from the Kingdom of Jordan, five from China), which represented the bulk of the dollars we spent;
  • Partnering with a pair of Peruvian animal welfare charities, Pataz and Perú Animal Rescue, and providing material support, as well as veterinary services for Pataz during a visit in June 2018,
  • Joining forces with TD Bank as part of that institution’s Affinity Membership Program, bringing to 13 the number of organizations with whom Nutmeg now partners;
  • Providing additional inventory for the Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home (Scotland), a partner since 2017;
  • Receiving shipment of the first pieces of merchandise bearing the new Nutmeg logo, an order of more than 100 customized, travel-sized, packable water/food dishes from partner organization Billy Wolf NYC;
  • Hosting our third annual autumn wine-tasting fundraiser in Providence, R.I. that generated more than $2,500 in October 2018;

Of course, there’s so much more we’d like to do and are endeavoring to do. Short- and long-term goals, projects, and ongoing efforts include (but, as always, are certainly not limited to):

  • Meeting with New England-based veterinarians in spring/summer 2019 to discuss launching/supporting a program to travel with medical professionals who can provide free veterinary care to distressed animals in the world’s neediest places.
  • Finalizing plans for our fourth annual autumn wine-tasting fundraiser (Friday, October 25, 2019 at Gasbarro’s Wines in Providence… save the date!) and researching ideas for additional future fundraising initiatives;
  • Gaining accreditation for Nutmeg as a certified organization with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance and the watchdog website Charity Navigator;
  • Recruiting new volunteers to assist with various Nutmeg projects;
  • Looking for new and additional merchandizing opportunities for Nutmeg logo branding;
  • Increasing our social media presence and overall public profile;
  • Resuming work on the new North Providence animal shelter facility, which (for reasons beyond our control) was placed in abeyance by town political leaders in 2017;

Life can often demoralize and discourage us. Almost no one is immune to this reality. At such times, though, it’s helpful, perhaps even therapeutic, to stop and give thanks for what we have. By looking back at where our roads have taken us, we can gain valuable perspective on where we are and where we’re headed.

From the beginning, Nutmeg has sought to distinguish itself from other charitable organizations by promising to allocate no less than 75 percent of every donated dollar to direct relief supplies and support services, while keeping each and every one of our generous donors informed about how, where, how much of, and on whom their contributions were spent. We’ve been true to our word, and that gives us great joy.

Do we wish we could be doing more and bigger things? Certainly. Yet, after five years in existence, we’re proud of the work we’ve done as Nutmeg Animal Welfare, and grateful that we’re still around to administer to the least of our world’s animal population however, wherever, and whenever we are able.

In the near future, I’ll be returning to Italy for my second visit there and am eagerly anticipating an appointment with animal welfare friends in the Renaissance city of Florence. A new partner – our 14th – could be on the horizon.

Five years. It doesn’t feel that long. Truthfully, in many respects, it feels as if Nutmeg is still just getting started. We continue to set our sights high, and, with the sustained support of our many donors and volunteers, will keep advancing toward those lofty goals by doing small things with great love. ETS