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Gift cards give back to the Humane Society

Friday, August 17, 2007

Helping the Humane Society take care of animals has never been more convenient, thanks to a fundraising program being offered on behalf of the Humane Society.

The Clay County Humane Society SCRIP Program is going strong. However, all that is needed is more members.

The SCRIP's, which means substitute money, are gift cards in various denominations that can be used in many restaurants and stores in the area.

Kroger, Page's and Baesler's grocery stores accept these cards, and at Kroger, they can be refilled.

Applebee's, Arby's, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Wendy's, Texas Roadhouse, Long John Silver's and Cracker Barrel are just a sampling of restaurants that take these cards.

Shopping in Bath and Body Works, K-Mart, Old Navy, Sears, Toys-R-Us, Walgreen's and CVS has never been easier because of this program.

"Basically, we purchase the cards at a discounted price. We then sell them to anyone at face value, and the difference is ours," SCRIP program manager Sharon Hoffman said. "The profit varies from merchant to merchant, some pay 5 percent like Kroger's, others pay 13 percent like Bath and Body Works. It adds up. What happens is that anyone who buys SCRIP ends up helping the Humane Society and it doesn't cost them anything. They are just buying and using a gift card and so many people do that. If they will buy them from us, we can help take care of and prevent so many homeless animals."

The program is simply shopping cart fundraising.

"Families generate revenue on purchases that they'd make anyway, just by using a SCRIP gift card," Hoffman said.

According to Hoffman, the cards can be purchased in many denominations ranging from $10 and up. They can be purchased with cash or a check, and in the case of Kroger, also a credit card.

"We have averaged approximately $1,500 a year for the last two years, and I'm hoping to do more than that this year," Hoffman said. "With community support, this painless fundraising effort will generate needed support for our local Humane Society. These cards can be used anywhere. That makes them the perfect gift for any occasion, and especially for Christmas."

Hoffman said that orders are placed mid-month and received about a week later. She keeps $10 and $20 cards for Kroger on hand, and can usually get Page's and Baesler's in one day.

"The Humane Society members meeting is the second Monday of the month, and I usually place the order on the Wednesday after the meeting," Hoffman said. "If you are a member, I try to get the orders at the meeting."

Becoming a member is painless also.

Humane Society board treasurer Karen McQueen said the cost is minimal.

"There is a $10 a year fee to become a member of the Humane Society. That in itself is a small price to pay to help so many animals," McQueen said. "I joined for two reasons. The board needed someone with clerk/treasurer experience and who could help build relationships between the city and the shelter. I also care deeply for animals and hate to see so many mistreated and alone. Ten dollars is nothing compared to what I've gotten back from being part of this organization."

If anyone would like information about what cards are available, or to place an order, contact Sharon Hoffman at 448-2958 or Shelter Manager Matt Moss at 446-5126.

If interested in joining the Humane Society as a member, contact Karen McQueen at 443-2221 or 229-6144.

The next meeting of the Humane Society is Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Brazil

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