I, Vanessa, am a full time permanent federal employee so our family and farm are affected by the current government shutdown. Since my salary is our primary source of income, the longer the shutdown lasts, the harder it's going to be to pay our bills. We have some savings and we can cut costs where possible, but eventually even that won't be enough.
A few days ago, we had to make our usual run to Tractor Supply to stock up on food for all the farm critters. And it was a heavy dose of reality that our bills to take care of our animals was going to be very tough very soon to cover. It also made me angry - at the politicians in D.C. who caused the shutdown, at the people who didn't care about the furloughed government employees, at everyone who didn't get how this situation truly impacts people.
I made a post on my personal Facebook page:
"Shutdown Day #20: today was a tough reminder of what this shutdown could mean if it lasts a long time. We had to buy feed for all our animals - cats, chickens, ducks, goats, and horse. With every animal we rescue, we take on the responsibility of caring for them. And we are dedicated to that responsibility. Our $100 feed bill today hurts more than it should because I have to hope we’ll have that amount when we need to come restock. But trust me, Lonnie and I would rather eat ketchup packets (don’t worry, we’re not quite at that stage yet) than let a single animal in our care go without the things they need. Now excuse me while I go research ramen recipes 😉 "
I posted the update in an effort to show the pain of this shutdown, that it is not “a paid vacation” but a real struggle for us and others like us. It wasn’t meant for pity or profit, but a realty check for anyone who still thinks this shutdown is a good idea.
We were so humbled by the number of people willing to help us care for our animals as our budget gets tighter. A number of people commented and reached out to me to ask how they could help. "What's your address? I'll send a gift card." "I have some unopened chicken treats, would those help?" "Anything I can do, let me know. We live close to Tractor Supply!"
And anyone who knows us knows we are not ones to accept charity. But our animals mean more to us than pride (& stubbornness). Enough people offered to help that in another Facebook post, we wanted to ensure that folks knew 100000% that anything given would go to our animals and not for our personal gain.
So now we have several ways set up for folks to donate to our Feed the Farm campaign. We are not expecting much and we know people will only give so much. And that's okay! This was truly born out of needing an easy but effective way for the people who wanted to help us to be assured that our animals will benefit directly from whatever they wanted to give.
Since we get most of our supplies we get from Tractor Supply, I created a Six Paws Farm wishlist of specific items but unlike a public registry, I could only email out that link directly to someone. If you'd like to see our Tractor Supply wishlist, please contact us.
We also have an Amazon list for the farm (link below) because that’s easier for some people, though it’s more treats than feed.
And if you just want to send us a “here’s a funny card to brighten your day” snail mail (because that’s JUST as welcome since mental health is important too), our mailing address is 402 Griffin Road, Forest City, NC 28043.
And if you’re a furloughed employee like me, therefore also getting broker as the Shutdown drags on, please feel free to send us YOUR address and we’ll send a greeting card to YOU so you’ll be cheered up ❤️
And lastly, many many thanks to those who have contributed already. The relief of knowing that our animals will have everything they need is something words cannot express. We are grateful, we are blessed. And we love you all.