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Philanthropy Friday: Mercy For Animals

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Mercy for Animals (MFA) was founded by Nathan Runkle in October of 1999, after an incident in his hometown in St. Paris, Ohio where a live baby piglet was violently beaten by a high school student during class. The incident caused an uproar in the small town, and Nathan took the initiative to start an organization that would fight against this and other kinds of animal abuse. Since then, Nathan has overseen the organization’s growth into a leading national force for the respectful and compassionate treatment of farmed animals.

Headquartered in Chicago, with four campaign offices one located in Columbus, MFA runs a number of campaigns that aim to educate the public on animal protection issues and to encourage them to adopt a vegan diet. It has engaged in several undercover investigations, and has produced television commercials and public transit ads working to open the hearts and minds of millions of consumers to the plight of farmed animals and the benefits of a vegetarian diet. More information on a vegetarian diet and various vegetarian resources can be found at www.ChooseVeg.com. To view a list of current campaigns, click here.

Locally, MFA offers a variety of educational resources to allow those interested in learning more about a vegan diet to do so in a welcoming and friendly manner. MFA visit classrooms and delivers humane education talks to students, hosts free library presentations, tables at events and fairs, marches in parades, and leaflets in the community. To see upcoming Ohio MFA events click here.

Locally MFA also participates in undercover investigations. The most recent was at Conklin Dairy Farms which showed workers on an Ohio dairy farm stabbing cows with pitchforks, beating them in the head with crowbars, breaking their tails, and punching, kicking, and body-slamming young calves, has shined a bright international spotlight on the abuse endured by farmed animals. The images have stirred emotion and sparked outrage around the globe. They received telephone calls and emails all over the country from concerned people pledging their support to help end animal cruelty. The response was amazing! Campaign Coordinator, Corey Roscoe personally talked to a man from Texas who saw the story online and called just to say “Thank You” for their hard work. The week the investigation broke the office was pretty exhausted, both physically and emotionally but hearing directly from supporters really helped energize them and confirm that the work they do is important.

Being a Voice For The Voiceless

Monetary donations assist MFA with preventing animal cruelty, sparing lives, and building a future where all animals are treated with respect and compassion. Joining MFA as a member is great way to become a powerful voice for the voiceless. Your tax-deductible donation will help strengthen their fight to end needless cruelty to animals through proactive outreach campaigns, groundbreaking undercover investigations and life-changing humane education programs. With a gift of $15 or more you will receive a membership packet loaded with information on MFA’s vital work. Additionally you will receive a free copy of the award-winning documentary, Fowl Play, and a subscription to their semi-annual magazine, Compassionate Living, filled with the latest MFA news, undercover exposés, delicious vegan recipes, exclusive interviews, health tips and urgent action alerts.

In Columbus, MFA is a member of Community Shares of Mid-Ohio. CoSMO is a coalition of locally based, non-profit organizations collaboratively participating in workplace giving campaigns. You can participate in your company’s workplace giving campaign by contributing to CoSMO and choosing to support MFA with your contribution. MFA also accepts direct donations through their website, www.MercyForAnimals.org or monetary gifts can also be mailed to: Mercy For Animals, P.O. Box 363, Columbus, OH 43216.

Legislative Action

MFA is a coalition member of Ohioans For Humane Farms which seeks to help prevent cruelty to farm animals by pushing for a modest measure for Ohio’s ballot this November. Similar laws to reform factory farming practices have passed in seven states. The proposed ballot measure would prohibit cruel confinement of egg-laying hens, veal calves and breeding pigs by simply giving them enough room to stand up, turn around freely, extend their limbs and lie down. Ohioans have an opportunity to help improve the lives of over 20 million animals in the buckeye state by simply supporting the legislation. To review the petition, click here.

Volunteering Your Time

MFA is dedicated to mobilizing compassionate people of all ages and backgrounds. As a volunteer-based organization, the success of MFA depends on the dedication of individuals. Volunteers for MFA help by working in the office, on fundraising projects, or researching outreach opportunities. Many weekly volunteers help in the field with organizing feed-ins (where they distribute free, yummy vegan foods in public locations), leafleting on college campuses, or helping staff tables at events. To get active and volunteer your time fill out the on-line volunteer form.

For more information on Mercy For Animals visit their website. Become a Facebook fan, follow them on Twitter at @mercyforanimals, and see video on their YouTube channel.

Philanthropy Friday is a feature article by Michele Savoldi that will highlight a Columbus area non-profit organization every other week. For more nonprofit information follow Michele on Twitter at @cbusimpressions and @inkindconnect.

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