When former Salt Lake Community College Student Mallory Black saw a small ad stating that Friends In Need Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Eagle Mountain was looking for volunteers for their 5K fundraiser last year, she felt like she needed to volunteer.
The non-profit organization is back at it again, as the Second Annual Friends In Need Stampede 5K event will be held on September 10, 2011, followed by a Furry Fun Run 1K event for pets and their caretakers.
“Animals need the exercise and so do the people,” said Kim O’Donnell, CEO and cofounder of Friends In Need.
This year’s fundraiser is going to support building a shelter for the family of bovines that are currently living at the sanctuary.
“We have a yak family,” said O’Donnell. The mother, father and calf need the shelter for the winter.
The entry fee for the 5K is $20.00. The fun run has an entry fee of $10. There will be t-shirts and prizes. O’Donnell said that “it should be a pretty good day.”
O’Donnell and his wife Karen founded Friends In Need after her work with investigating animal abuse cases in West Jordan. They wanted to do something more positive and hands-on to help the animals.
“Animals are a part of your family. That includes wildlife,” said Kim. Friends In Need is raising awareness about animals and how they should be treated with respect.
Even though Friends In Need is based in the Utah County area, the organization has helped animals in different states including California, Idaho and Florida. The six acre sanctuary is home to over 150 animals ranging from horses and yaks to chickens, llamas and water buffalo. They also have 14 dogs, nine cats, a turtle and some birds.
“There are so many animals out there, and nobody’s taking them,” said O’Donnell. “We’re the last hope for them.”
Friends In Need does offer adoption opportunities, but that process can take a lot of time to complete. O’Donnell said that it just depends upon the animal as to how quickly it could be adopted out. One area that Friends In Need is looking to expand into is wildlife rehabilitation.
A non-profit organization, Friends in Need received a $50,000 grant three years ago that has been used to keep operations afloat. That money is gradually running out.
Black said that the volunteer experience that she had with Friends In Need was great and redirected her life.
“It helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. That was unexpected,” said Black.
She is currently attending Utah Valley University as a communications major with a Public Relations interest. Black has gone back to volunteer with Friends In Need several times and has even got her workplace, Carmax, to sponsor a couple of volunteer days. One day they did a spring clean-up and another they planted trees at the sanctuary.
A non-profit organization, Friends in Need received a $50,000 grant three years ago that has been used to keep operations afloat. That money is gradually running out. O’Donnell said that Friends In Need is looking for “volunteers that really care about animals,” especially those who have knowledge about specific types of animals like horses.
Those interested in volunteering with Friends In Need can visit their web site at friends-in-need.org or call (801)752-8729.
People interested in the Stampede can register over the internet at friends-in-need.org by September 8, 2011. Registration may also be done on the day of the event, but the fees will increase.