As we look to 2023, we are excited to see the roots that have been firmly planted in our Sanctuary, from our Animals truly being at home and so very curious about human interaction (and feeling safe and comfortable going about their business if they aren’t) to feeling part of the community of Three Oaks and the larger Harbor Country area with the support and interest our Sanctuary and programs have garnered in 2022.

We are already planning some events and programs for next year… and are always looking for more connection to our community – please don’t hesitate to reach out if you think we may a good fit for your needs, and/or if there is a way you may be able to work with us – our most fun and successful programs to date have included collaborations that happened organically, and I think that’s a true marker to knowing you are in purpose!

Programs

We accept animals into the Sanctuary on a case by case basis, depending on our facilities being able to truly provide the home environment most helpful to the animals, and to be sure our animals can all live in harmony safely – together, or separated if needed. We will continue that goal for the Sanctuary this year, and want to increase opportunities to learn about the animals here.

Formally we are developing curricula for grade schools to use in class, culminating with a visit to the Sanctuary to meet the animals. Informally we are looking at increasing educational materials AT the sanctuary for all to see during our open house hours and tours, and to provide workshops on various topics of interest on animals, nature, wellness, and connection. Some of this will be available during our open house hours, some will be special programs.

We will continue to grow our volunteer program to offer opportunities for more community service hours, projects for scouts, classes, youth groups, and for volunteers who also want to learn to work more deeply with our animals, train, and/or lead classes on their own.

Expanding our therapy dog visits for support in the community

Dale and Beth are each completing certification programs allowing us to provide and teach more comprehensive services in animal assisted learning and support therapies, and will be able to offer more formal session work.

Events

Host a spring Kick off concert at the Acorn – March 2023 (details coming after the new year)

A meet and greet spring event to gather our community of friends in April

We consider our open house Hours and tours a program, and we also hope to include more community partnering for single events showcasing animals, activities, educational opportunities as events we host on site, too.

Having music at the Sanctuary will look different next year, combining with other events and activities, but our vision of our animals enjoying the nurturing sounds of music at home while we all enjoy their sereneness will continue!

The Blessing of the animals is now a yearly tradition on St Francis Day. 🙂

And of course we will continue to have our Fall Fest… with more activities and information about our animals each year!

We have a goal of being part of more community events next year as well, with the animals as appropriate, and helping out in other ways when not.

Facilities

The Sign, extending the drive back to where the barn will be, moving fencing to accommodate the changes, moving gates and fencing so the dogs can roam freely while still providing separation of the animals who can not take over each others areas are our growth goals for the year. (yes, there are at times safety issues, but our biggest problem to date was when we had the bright idea to let the goats go everywhere. They are quite destructive in their curiosity and we spent way too much time cleaning up after them in the alpaca barn to do that again!)

Fundraising

Our financial needs have also never been greater as we want to put up the new barn as soon as we can, and need to increase from an all volunteer run organization to hiring some key staff positions to keep us humming along, and, most importantly as our animal care and training needs grow with each animal we bring into the Sanctuary.

We also need a social media/marketing person to work with our newly formed fundraising committee to expand our outreach, sponsorship, and continuing donor relations in a way we have not been able to yet. We want to keep people updated on how the animals they support are doing, and ways to meet them and continue to support in addition to monetarily! We live by our motto… people helping animals helping people and want to keep people involved and engaged with the animals as they like… it helps us all grow!

And we need to promote our Go Fund Me page and get everyone in our community on board with being an ambassador to our cause – and get the word out about us, the animals, and the programs they can support!

If you are already involved, we thank you, we appreciate you, and we need you more than ever to keep caring for our animals and growing in our connections with PEOPLE! If you are interested in becoming involved, please go to the Ways to Help tab where you can complete a volunteer application letting us know ways you would enjoy working with us, donate, sign up for our newsletter and stay in touch!

As I’ve said all year… we are small, but we are MIGHTY… and we are growing – because of YOU!