When ten-year-old Ruby Amores saw photos of displaced animals and flood damaged houses in Southern West Virginia, she asked her parents Chris and Cathy if she could hold a bake sale to help the animals. “I like baking, especially for a good cause, and I love eating cookies, so this seemed like a great way to help,” Ruby said during a recent conversation. She learned that the Greenbrier Humane Society was serving as a clearing house for animal rescue groups working on flood relief efforts throughout the region. At first she thought she’d use the proceeds from the bake sale to buy dog food and supplies, then deliver those to Greenbrier County, but the Humane Society told her that they had experienced an outpouring of donations of pet food, dog beds, and other supplies. What they really needed were funds to help with expenses related to caring for so many animals during the coming months. So, Ruby’s Rescue Bake Sale was born, and plans were put into action. Ruby baked hundreds of cookies; Madeline’s, Brownie Balls, Chocolate Muffins, Snapple Cookies, Peppermint Swirls, and Cornbread Muffins.
Parents Chris and Cathy offered to match whatever Ruby raised at the bake sale, and when they learned about her plan, two uncles, an aunt, and her grandparents, also offered to match what she sold. Ruby decided to hold her bake sale at Poor House Farm’s Henry Arena during her sister Maria’s barrel racing competition, and her dad posted it on Facebook. Ruby did all the baking and all the selling, writing down the names of as many customers as possible so she could make a poster with their names on it for the Greenbrier Humane Society. “We decided to charge $.50 a cookie, but lots of people gave more.” Ruby said. “One lady gave me $20 and said she didn’t want any change.”
The venue turned out to be the perfect location since virtually everyone in the crowd was an animal lover and at the end of the evening Ruby’s Rescue Bake Sale had raised $713. Since then, additional contributions have come in and with the matching gifts from her family and friends, total donations reached $3,208. Ruby came to see us at the Community Foundation, hoping that we could provide matching funds through the W. Randy Smith Family Fund Flood Relief Challenge.
We explained that we were sending those contributions to WV VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) to help people living and working in Southern West Virginia get their lives back in order, and to the Nicholas County Community Foundation to help restore three flooded schools in their county, so we couldn’t use those funds to match her bake sale proceeds. But, we told her that we knew lots of animal lovers who might be interested in making a donation to help add to what she has raised.
Since we started working on this idea, we’ve wrapped up the Randy Smith Flood Relief Challenge (with total donations of nearly $30,000), and are ready to team up with Ruby on a second fundraising effort — Ruby’s Rescue Bake Sale Challenge. All of the funds that Ruby raised will be sent to the Greenbriar Humane Society, and the Foundation will collect gifts from individuals, area rescue organizations, clubs, and businesses, then send those contributions to the Beckley Area Foundation to support volunteer animal rescue organizations in Fayette, Raleigh, and Wyoming counties. Our goal is to match the $3,208 that was raised by Ruby so we can send both groups equal shares.
So here’s your chance to help the animals that are in need in Southern West Virginia. If you want to make a donation to support organizations caring for animals in the flood ravaged areas, you can do so by mailing a check to EWVCF, 229 E. Martin Street, Suite 4, Martinsburg, WV 25401. Write Ruby’s Rescue Challenge in the memo line and we will make sure that 100% of your gift is put to work helping the animals (and their people) who have lost homes and loved ones in Southern WV. You can also donate ON LINE with the DONATE NOW button to the right, but if you send in a check you avoid the 3% service fee to Just Give. Either way is fine, but checks give a little more bang for the buck. We are honored to be part of this campaign and hope you will consider joining the effort.