You Made 2019 Giving Tuesday Great

Your Support Makes A Difference

December 4, 2019

You showed up Tuesday, December 3, to #GiveFocus and #GiveFuture during Giving Tuesday, donating over $38,000 to get us through the end of the year and laying a solid foundation for our 2020 Vision: Your Focus. Their Future. 

Our unofficial total is $38,203, at the time of this blog post, but we are still waiting on numbers from Facebook and other sources. We feel confident that you allowed us to hit our $40,000 goal! We hope everyone who participated in this international day of giving had as wonderful of a time as we did. 

For Animal Curator, Emily McCormack and Communications Director, Lisa Brinker, the day began early with some fantastic news coverage by KNWA Northwest Arkansas News! They began with a 5 AM segment discussing our Giving Tuesday activities and allowing our animal residents to show-off for the cameras. KNWA News spent the rest of the day promoting us on their homepage! We are grateful they chose to #GiveFocus to the issues big cats everywhere are facing and what Turpentine Creek and all of our wonderful supporters are doing to make a positive change! 

You gave us a strong start, pouring donations in through Facebook at 8 AM EST! Some of you were up as early as 3 A.M. attempting to help us earn Facebook’s dollar for dollar match. Over $4,000 was raised during that time frame, which means that there is a chance that we will have an extra $4,000 to add to our total if we earned the match (Facebook says they will notify matching recipients in early January)! The money donated through Facebook quickly pushed us past our $3,000 mini goal to replenish our veterinary supplies and purchase specialty medical tools for emergency surgeries. These donations were made in honor of Ringo tiger, who passed away from complications following an intensive surgery earlier in the month. Just as you stood up to #RallyForRingo during his illness, you came through on Giving Tuesday to help his legacy live on in the other animals we will be able to help with the surgical instruments purchased. 

Once $5,000 was raised, we gave away a Family Fun Pack, which included four standard admission tickets, a TCWR calendar and an issue of the “Big Cat Chronicles” quarterly newsletter, plus a $10 Big Cat Bucks reloadable gift card. It wasn’t long after that when we hit our $10,000 mini goal and were able to draw a random winner for a photo and magnet of a TCWR animal resident of their choice! We had raised $15,000 before 1 P.M. and gave away an exclusive Coffee with the Curator Tour. In order to enter the giveaway, we asked supporters to share one thing they learned from TCWR, either by visiting or following along on social media. Here are some of the answers: 

  • “How bad declawing is for all cats…..large and small.” -Nikki S.
  • “I’ve learned that there is a huge problem in our country of people having large cats and keeping them in horrible conditions…” -Wendy P.
  • “The sad truth about cub petting and the related breeding behind it…” – Tracy G.
  • “My 8-year-old boy Benjamin even though we are at a distance admiring the tigers [learned] when they turn around and put their rear ends up to the fence don’t stand in amusement, run. Benjamin got sprayed. Even with that happening, he continues to love the tigers and someday wants to help the rescues.” – David R. 

After that, donations slowed down for a while, but we randomly drew the name for paw painting winners when we raised $20,000 and again at $25,000! The two paintings were created by Bobby the bobcat and Tigger the Golden Tabby Tiger. Both were special for different reasons. Bobby is a blind bobcat, and this was the first paw painting he ever attempted! He created a beautiful purple piece complete with itty bitty bobcat paw prints. Tigger is a newer animal resident and has done a paw painting before, but he’s a favorite of many! His multi-colored work of art was complete with dirt smudges and claw marks. We did a live drawing during 4 PM Behavioral Training, where viewers were treated to Tanya and Kizmin munching on meat treats before the winners were announced. 

The next mini-goal was $30,000, but the $35,000 was perhaps the most coveted because we were giving away a prize we never had before. Many of you are familiar with Emily McCormack, who has been with our organization for over 20 years and currently serves as our Animal Curator. She offered to do a personal video chat with the winner and their favorite TCWR animal resident! 

For the video chat giveaway, we asked people to enter by commenting on one thing they hoped to see in the future for big cats. A few of the answers were: 

  • “ I hope that regulations will change that will prevent private ownership and that will improve living conditions for them across the country/world!” -Laura E.
  • “ I hope all animals in captivity can find grass under their feet and warm, dry dens in accredited sanctuaries like Turpentine Creek.” -Laura R.
  • “Exotic animal trade will be a thing of the past and all existing animals will be in Wildlife refuge like Turpentine Creek” -Karen V.
  • “I really hope cub petting comes to an end…” – Elizabeth K.
  • “I hope that the bill before Congress passes so exotic and wild animals are protected. I hope circuses completely stop using all animals. I hope trophy hunting becomes illegal. I hope palm forests become protected. ‘A million dreams of the world we’re gonna make.’” – Heather K.

Together, we can make these wishes come true for the sake of exotic animals everywhere. Your donations will allow us to not only serve the animals who currently call the Refuge home, but to #GiveFocus to big cats through advocacy and education and #GiveFuture to others still trapped in the Big Cat Trade. Thank you for dreaming big dreams with us and stepping up to make those dreams a reality for those who are affected most by them: the animals.

It takes our entire team to make Giving Tuesday a success from our Animal Care and Education interns and staff making enrichment to celebrate donation milestones, our Communications team creating posts and live videos to engage our supporters, to our gift shop staff informing the visitors about Giving Tuesday, it is an entire team effort and we appreciate everyone for their efforts!

As a reminder, our largest prize to show our appreciation for our Giving Tuesday support is a 2-night getaway to Eureka Springs that includes a bundle of activities, such as 2 weeknights at the Refuge. If we find out we have hit our $40,000, we will be giving it away, so make sure to follow our social media for updates! We also did several cat-tastic live videos on December 3, so feel free to scroll through our Facebook to catch up on them if you missed out. 

1…2…3…Paws in! Go team! Our 2020 vision looks bright!