Asking for help is one of the toughest things for me to do. Starting Little Buckets was an absolute dream, but it's a dream I am having a hard time maintaining. Sanctuary life consists of 16+ hours a day/365 days a year no matter how you feel or what the weather is. I have no problem with working these hours, sacrificing vacations/days off, and never getting to see family/friends, as I love what I do and love every single one of these animals as my family. However, as much as I love it, I will tell you it is so tough physically and emotionally, and the stress levels are off the charts. Going into 2022, I knew I had to come up with a plan to get the daily support needed to sustain sanctuary life for years to come, as I can only hope that the ever-growing gang lives very long, happy lives. This is where I need you and those who have followed our journey, those who believe in me and our mission, and who love the gang. Your support is needed so that I can hire a Farm Manager who will not only be able to help maintain everything that goes into the farm but who can care for the animals too. I wear so many hats and I am pretty much exhausted every single day of my life, but I am the type of person to push through and whatever the gang needs they get, no matter how I feel or what I need. But I seriously need help and that help being family makes it that much more awesome.
My brother, Larry, is committed to coming and absolutely wants to be that Farm Manager if LBFS can financially handle and sustain this position into the future. It would be a PT position. He would be going back and forth between the farm and his home, however the majority of the time will be spent here at Little Buckets.
It is tough to ask for funds which seem more to help me, but I promise you, this position will certainly benefit the animals in so many ways. It will give me the support daily no matter how early or how late in the day I need it, it will give me time to breathe, it will give me time to do so many things for LBFS and the animals that I can't get to otherwise, it will give me more time to just be with the animals and in turn share their joy with all of you. It will bring not only another set of eyes but 2 sets of eyes as his wife Robin will be volunteering alongside us as much as she can on top of her FT job. The animals are going to benefit by all means, and I literally can't wait for us to do so much for them that I could never do on my own. Just to name a few of the things....
1. Tackle the Special Needs Area/Barn, getting a better setup for Pisa, Tidbit and any future special needs babies. It will allow me to better set up my house for the initial stay of new rescues, allowing me to sleep in a bed vs the couch. :) But then give us a new area that they graduate to, that is set up for everything they need.
2. We currently have fences being propped up, with boards down and missing and this would allow us to install new fencing/mend fences when needed, as well as give us the capability to add new fencing when desired.
3. It will allow us to continue to add enrichment and any needed shelters for the animals
4. This will allow me to continue to help more precious lives.
5. And the list goes on - With his background in construction and expanded knowledge of the Farm already because if you haven't followed for a while, Larry and Robin lived here for most of our first two years. Larry will be able to take on projects that I would have to hire out for. This alone will save money and time for LBFS allowing funds to be allocated to other expenses. And most importantly, it is beyond comforting to know that someone working alongside you has the same passion and love for your “kids” as you do. And the Kids are very fond of Uncle Larry!! They love to help him with his projects when he tries to work in their field !! Larry was my coach when I played competitive tennis growing up and we worked so hard together for that dream and now to potentially be able to work hard together on this dream helping animals is literally so surreal.
This in no way is a discredit to my awesome volunteer team as they rescue the rescuer every day too but on average I have volunteer help 3 to 4 hours a day/5 or 6 days a week, and there are so many other hours in the day that I am here handling everything on my own. It is a constant stress of always needing to be productive, to needing to be in 2 spots at once, to keeping an eye out for everyone, and somehow getting to sit down for a few minutes in between.
I can't tell you how excited about the possibility I am of having them both back. The animals love them, I love them. I can see my stress levels going down. Everything would be more fun when you can share the daily experiences and I will be able to share a whole lot more with all of you too.
Please consider any amount to help us make this happen. Larry is willing to start on September 7th if we can fundraise this amount in a short time. If not, his start date will have to be pushed back until we meet our goal. This amount will get us ahead well into 2023. Thank you for reading. Thank you for not only wanting to support the animals but the people who take care of them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Susan and the entire LBFS gang