I wanted to take a moment of your time and talk to you about what we have planned for the Snuggles Project.
I have always been very proud of this project and all of the work that you and the many other people around the world have put into making Snuggles for the animals in the shelters. Just imagine, over two million Snuggles delivered worldwide since we started! Consequently, this project had actually changed the industry of animal shelters and how people perceived them. When the shelters became more homey and less industrial looking, it brought in more people and allowed them to stay longer. This very fact gave the animals a better chance at being adopted.
When I started this project back in 1996 I couldn't have predicted the reach and breath of this simple concept. All I wanted to do was make the animals more comfortable. I was lucky enough to have a group of crocheters who when I said "Who's with me on this?" stepped up big time. I am so thankful for them and the belief that they had in what I wanted to do.
Today, the Snuggles Project has become a well-known and respected project through the hard work that you have done to give shelter animals a better chance. To give them love when they feel so unwanted. To give them color and hope to endure another day. Thank you so much!
But over the years I've noticed some difficulties with the project. Maybe you have noticed it too. Maybe you've tried to donate your Snuggles only to be told by a shelter volunteer that they don't participate in the project even though their shelter has a Snuggle Kitten icon and has Snuggles in the cages. Maybe when you walked in the door with your arms full of the beautiful Snuggles that you've put so much love into and were told to just toss them over there. Maybe a shelter employee told you that they only use the purchased beds. Maybe you've found out that the shelter is only using the Snuggles in the adoption packs. Maybe a shelter volunteer said they never heard of the Snuggles Project. All of this is very frustrating for us to hear. I am with you on that. From what I can see, it all boils down to education and outreach. This is what we are addressing right now. It will take a lot of work and we need your help to accomplish this.
Now, we are in Season 3 of Covid and even though the virus is still around us, it is beginning to feel like there is a future out there. The shelters are beginning to open up again. Snuggles are needed more than ever. But more than that, we all need support and community. That is what this new version of the Snuggles Project website is about. We want this to be a place for you to spend time together, helping each other, encouraging each other, supporting each other. Snuggles are what brings us together but community is what keeps us together.
Earlier this week you received an email letting you know about the website changes and the membership campaign that we are running. In the past, we hadn't pushed very hard to get paid members on the project. We offered free registration on the website that allowed everyone to have full access. Some did join with a paid membership and we are very thankful to them; but, if we are going to address these frustration points and progress the project then we need everyone to step up and help.
What we need to do will cost time and money. That is why we are making the changes and asking you to help. If you have already joined, THANK YOU! If not, then please join us now. That is a wonderful chance for you to get involved at a greater capacity and have a say in how the project proceeds. All members will have a vote and a voice. This is an opportunity for you to really make a difference for the Snuggles Project.
Go to the Membership Plans page or click on the Join button on the website.
In closing, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read my letter. Sorry, but I didn't intend it to be so long. I really hope that you will decide to join this wonderful project in a way that will really make a difference and make it even better.
P.S. If you are not in a position to join now and still want to participate in making Snuggles, please by all means, do. Keep making them and keep reporting your Snuggles donations. It is so very important to the animals to have a Snuggle of their own to get them through a most stressful time of their lives.