A stuffed lion that stood atop a rock just off Highway 101 near Norwest Bay Road sparked the imagination of local author and business woman Cathrine Ann recently.
“I thought wouldn’t it be nice if there were 100 stuffies,” she said, soon adding the incentive people would need to donate to her dream — a total of $1,500 in cash donations to local animal rescue groups.
“I appreciate the hard times some people are going through so I want to donate the money on behalf of the community. All they have to do is add a stuffie.”
If the Sunshine Coast community can assemble a total of 100 stuffed animals before Aug. 11, Ann will give $500 to the SPCA, $500 to Happy Cat Haven and $500 to the Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. The self-proclaimed animal lover usually gives smaller amounts to these groups herself, but felt a public effort would help “get everyone involved and feeling good.”
She said a profitable year at her business Consumer Connection left her in a position to give big this year.
Ann invites members of the community to add their gently worn or new stuffed animals to the display, noting all new stuffies will be donated to St. Mary’s Hospital after Aug. 11.
Stuffed animals added to the effort won’t be displayed on the rock they were first found on, however. Someone obviously didn’t like the display, because on July 24 Ann found all the stuffed animals taken from the rock and deposited at the dump.
She had already started the stuffed animal collection effort on-line through Facebook, so she rescued the toys and started a new display site at her house just off the highway- at 6948 Highway 101.
“I’ve got a large rock area to set them up on and I’ll take them into the garage whenever it rains,” she said.
If you want to take part, simply drop off your stuffed animal to 6948 Highway 101 before Aug. 11. You can also drop off donations beside the lottery booth at Sunnycrest Mall.
In addition Ann invites the on-line community to “like” the Facebook page for her book Beautiful Buttons. If she gets a total of 400 likes on that page before Aug. 11 each animal group will receive an additional $100.
Excited about giving, Ann has one last donation she is challenging other business owners to give- as well — their staff time.
During one day each month, Ann will pay for her 10 staff members to volunteer together at a non-profit organization on the Coast. The first will be the SPCA.
“I, as a business owner, can use my staff to help out. And if a few other businesses would do the same, we could really make a dent,” she noted.
When asked why she is so driven to give, Ann recalled something she once read.
“I read that less than one per cent of the population actual help out or give of their time, which is appalling,” she said. “That’s something I want to change.”