My name is Brooke, and I'm a loyal CDAN reader. I currently reside in the Bay Area, but I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, IA. I'm writing to see whether you would be willing to promote an upcoming auction that I've organized to raise funds for the animals displaced by the recent devastating flood of the Cedar River. As of June 16, damage estimates have exceeded ONE BILLION ($1,000,000,000) dollars. In a town of only 120,000 people, this is beyond catastrophic. In fact, FEMA described the devastation as the equivalent of a 9.2 earthquake, and has classified the Cedar Rapids flood as the third-biggest national disaster in recent history (after Hurricane Katrina and 9/11).
Thousands of animals have been left homeless by the flood. The Cedar Rapids animal shelter has been completely destroyed. Many people had to abandon their pets when they evacuated their homes, and it is unclear when--if ever--they will be reunited. The situation is dire, and support is desperately needed.
The auction will be held at http://www.iowafloodreliefauction.com/ from June 25-July 2. All funds raised will be directed to a special "Friends of the Animal Shelter" fund via the Kirkwood Foundation (tax ID 23-7076632), which is the fundraising division of the Kirkwood Community College, currently serving as the temporary shelter for displaced animals. There are several hundred dogs, even more cats, and other companion animals being housed there, and many, many more animals are still stranded in the tens of thousands of abandoned homes.
The Kirkwood Foundation and Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter are working together on the evacuation center--the animal shelter's building was completely destroyed in the flood, so they are hoping to rebuild on the Kirkwood campus.
More information about both organizations is available at http://www.kirkwood.edu/foundation and http://www.cedar-rapids.org/animal/.
I have consulted with the directors of both the Kirkwood Foundation and the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter on this project. Also, my uncle, the Kirkwood grounds supervisor, was instrumental in transforming several campus buildings into makeshift care centers for the animals, so I have a unique insight on the magnitude of this tragedy. My city is gone, and countless lives have been forever changed.
The theme of the auction is "Indulge Yourself to Save Lives." So far, 40 companies have pledged lot contributions to raise funds for the evacuated animals. The participating companies are primarily run by independent artisans of bath & body products, fragrances, hair care, gourmet food, pet products, and jewelry. Today, I started a campaign targeting family-run wineries in Napa and Sonoma, and have already received two magnums of blanc de blancs, donated by Schramsberg. I feel that your loyal readers will be very interested in the items available through the auction, as well as the welfare of the animals who will benefit from it.
I would love to have this cause considered for your upcoming "Your Turn" posting on Friday. All of the lots will be going up on Friday and Saturday, so the timing would be perfect to drum up interest in the site. You can also post a countdown clock to the auction with the following code:
Thank you for your interest! Hopefully, we can work together to bring attention to this important event, and bring hope to a community so desperately in need.