Rescue And Recycle to Help Cats!

You guys!

Today we’re going to learn about a neat organization that’s in the process of forming so they can help cats through recycling!

First off, I apologize for my absence. You see, I’ve been living like a refugee. In a bedroom. Sharing one litter box with everyone else. Why? Because we an an incident here at the apartment and, until things are resolved and repaired (I assure you, I had NOTHING to do with it), we will be living at the grandparents’ house. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Moving along, let me introduce you to Rescue and Recycle, an organization that is still in the process of getting its 501 3(c) status. Though still small, their idea is a sound one and I wanted to give it a bit of exposure in the hopes that someone who would like to help might be able to do so! I spoke via email with Michael Alexander, the generous soul behind this project. Here’s what he had to say!

WeeKee, a kitty that Rescue and Recycle helped out of a bad situation. Michael says it was one of the best rescue experiences of his life!

WeeKee, a kitty that Rescue and Recycle helped out of a bad situation. Michael says it was one of the best rescue experiences of his life!

C: Michael, tell me about RAR.
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M:We’re trying to start the world’s first charity metal recycling company. We hope to make an incredible impact on the lives of cats, dogs, and other pet species by raising money on a scale other charity efforts can’t. Its two founding members are myself, and my girlfriend Alexa.
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C: An interesting concept. Tell me how it began.

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M: It all started years ago. We fell on hard times in my 20s, and had to resort to redeeming cans and bottles, and finding scrap metal to get by. Searching for garbage finds during all sorts of weather helped me appreciate the plight of feral cats. I saw them often while out finding salvage, and what I saw worried me. I wanted to help but my situation didn’t allow that.

As cat lovers we could simply not ignore the problem, and we definitely didn’t want to contribute to it like so many around here do. We also really started thinking about how we could start a charity of some kind to benefit animals in need. [W]e see how crucial low-cost spay/neuter is for pets in communities where love of animals exists, but not much money or education is available. We knew more needed to be done and two individuals alone could not manage the entire problem.

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C: So how will recycling help?
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M: At first we dreamed of a foster care center, or some sort of shelter/sanctuary, which we were going to support with a scrapping program. Then it became more clear as time passed that it would be best to focus on one or the other. The scrapping was the one that would bring in income whereas the other options would have required donations and volunteering to survive. Also, there were many other organizations filling the rescue/shelter role, but one thing they all constantly need is money. That’s where we are hoping RAR can become effective, providing a fundraising option the rescues themselves cannot. Our plan is to provide support to other rescue groups primarily, but to also have some of our own programs when necessary. Our biggest focus is on spay/neuter and reducing shelter killing(with the eventual goal of eliminating it).

Skittles, one of the kitties whose trust Michael and Alexa earned - with food.

Skittles, one of the kitties whose trust Michael and Alexa earned – with food.

C: Eliminating it would be ideal, yes. What do you still need to get started?

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M: We are currently struggling to get the equipment we need to really get a good start. We’ve vetted some cats around here, organized a spay/neuter roundup, and fed a lot of cats, but we really need a truck & trailer to take our work to the next level. We also could use tools, a drop-off site, advertising, and volunteers who would be willing to gather from their network of friends(reducing our need to manage all of it directly, and to gather materials in quantities it would be impractical to pick up individually).
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C: How much metal would you say is going to waste presently?
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M: In just this county (Black Hawk County, Iowa) alone there are over 12 million pounds of assorted metal thrown into the municipal waste stream. Approximately $800,000 of this is copper pipe. $4,000,000 worth of car batteries. If the rest were steel it would be about $850,000 worth. There’s also copper wire, brass/bronze, aluminum, titanium, nickel, lead, magnesium, zinc, platinum(catalytic scrap mainly), and gold/silver(jewelry, computer equipment). Even 10% of this market would represent at least half a million dollars a year from just one county in Iowa.

A selection of kitties saved by Rescue and Recycle. That little guy on the left seems to have face planted in the food dish.

A selection of kitties saved by Rescue and Recycle. That little guy on the left seems to have face planted in the food dish.

C: Your ultimate goal has numerous facets, not only to help cats, but to help the environment and people with autism, correct?

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M: It is our hope that the non-profit that is the first to corner this market is Rescue And Recycle. We want this resource to help pets in need, and in turn help our society be the place it should be. We would also like to eventually operate on a large enough scale to hire, and we’d like to focus a lot of our hiring on higher-functioning autistics. I have high-functioning autism(which used to be called Asperger’s Syndrome), and believe this sort of work is very compatible with my nature. We recently had a son as well(his name is Keenan), and we would like to leave the world a kinder place for him than we found it to be.
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C: How are you furthering you goals right now?
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M: Right now we also need our 501c(3), but the process is expensive and likely won’t happen until we get a truck&trailer. In the mean-time we’ve been building relationships with rescue groups in the area, volunteering when able, and making friends in a broader sense. We’ve appealed to various organizations, and we even tried a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo(though that did not go well).

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C: What do you need the most?
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.M: We could really use help from those with non-profit experience, or any leads on useful grants. If all a person can offer is to like our Facebook page or subscribe to our Twitter feed, we appreciate it. A mountain is just a pile of atoms like a pebble. Small contributions can make a big difference if they happen enough.

More kitties saved by Rescue and Recycle.

More kitties saved by Rescue and Recycle.

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There you have it! Neat, no? Please take a moment to stop by Rescue and Recycle’s Facebook Page and/or friend them on Twitter to follow their news. If you know of someone that would be interested in this story, please share! Let’s do our part to help get this great initiative off the ground!
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Love,
Crepes.
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Rescue And Recycle: http://fb.me/rariowa and @rariowa   Visit HERE for a list of things you can drop off for donation if you’re in the Iowa area.

 

 

24 thoughts on “Rescue And Recycle to Help Cats!

  1. This is a good idea that needs an angel investor and volunteers with key skills. When I was trying to get charitable status for a rescue I founded in Canada 1997 one of the foster volunteers was an attorney who did all our paperwork pro bono. My advice is ask and keep asking for doors to be opened.

  2. We have heard of programs that use recycling to help fund rescue, but nowhere near Iowa, and most of them are specific to a particular rescue. This is a really interesting model, and we hope it can succeed. Recycling rocks, so why not use it to help fund rescue efforts? That’s win-win.

  3. Great Cause and great people!! Noodle–I agree with you about the Kickstarter project!! We have one friend in Iowa..well one is better then none–so will make sure they know about this–Keep up the good work!!

  4. I wanted to add–you may have already thought/done all of these things but have you had any local press/articles? or maybe reached out to the Autism community/cat rescue to “table” with them at events to get the word out and maybe just maybe get an angel “investor”? I bet theres people who want to put the pedal to the metal (yes oun intended) and help you roll!! I also forgot to send a Pixie kiss! Luv, Pixie xx00xx

  5. Thanks so much for the great feedback everyone! We are starting from such humble beginnings that truly kicking the project into gear is the truly hard part. The material is out there. I have worked a number of different jobs and am amazed by the amount of valuable things being thrown away every single day. Our ambition extends from helping animals to helping keep the environment clean. Not only do these goals help each other, these goals are both good for us humans.

    I have looked into a Kickstarter project, but they do not seem to have an option for charity efforts. Perhaps I just am missing something! We did start an Indiegogo.com campaign, but that went very poorly. I think the biggest problem we ran into with that site was the fact that you must be a registered 501c3 already to raise money in the charity category. Since we weren’t able to verify the 501c3 status with the site, we didn’t get listed well. I tried very hard via Facebook and Twitter to get some results, but marketing is not my strong suit! I am not a salesperson. I do have a passion for this idea though, and I am definitely not ashamed to promote it!

    Pixie I have reached out some to autism organizations and cat rescue groups. The rescue groups by and large are supportive, but also kind of too caught up in their own work to get especially involved. The autism groups have yet to even respond so I’m not sure what that means. Currently I am not easily able to travel so I haven’t done a lot of visiting events. Large groups of people are a bit overwhelming for me, but if going to events will help, I’ll definitely do it!

    Anyway, thanks again for all the feedback, and I will make an effort to address comments in more detail when I have a bit more time here.

    Crepes! I hope your exile can be resolved soon and things can go back to normal! Thanks for the interview!

  6. Hi Crepes, What a generous cat you are. Even though you are temporarily displaced (and slightly inconvenienced) you are still trying to help other kitties and dogs who need help. Thank You for telling us about Rescue and Recycle. Now you have helped Michael and Alexa help lots of other cats (and dogs) have a home with love, food, and their own litter box. Purrs and Meows, Miss April.
    P.S. Being with the grandparents can have it’s advantages.

  7. We think this sounds like a great idea!!! We will send them lots of supporting purrs and like their Facebook page and Twitter!

  8. Crepes – what a great initiative. Hope the apartment is okay. PS. Grand-kids are usually spoilt rotten, even fur ones, so we expect you’ll soon love your temporary accommodation.

  9. Hi Michael..Just a thought-.. maybe contact a nearby college or two and see if there is a way you could maybe get marketing help via a student? If you don’t qualify for a full on “intern” maybe a Marketing Prof/teacher would have some ideas?? Keep us posted!

  10. Thanks Pixie. I have gone to the local small business development center. The problem there is that they focus on for-profit operations. I will have to travel about 90 miles to visit the nearest one that does non-profit help. I may need to save up for such a trip. Getting help from a student isn’t something I’ve considered much, but it could be worth trying. I could see how a marketing student could use such a project as extra-credit or independent study material….

    • Michael..Im going to put my Pixie Idea hat on ..may be a week or two but wil touch base with you. Im wondering if that non-profit help may be able to help remotely? Your GF and you are doing a GREAT thing trying to get this up and running to help cats, the community and the environment! Kudos to you both

  11. Thanks Pixie. Not sure my comments are going through anymore though on here. Not sure if my page is just not updating properly. Anyway, I appreciate your interest!

  12. Just wanted to post a quick update here. We just recently found a rural property owner willing to let us use a building for our small cat colony and an entire barn for our scrapping operation! Through the great help of good friends and much good cat karma, we are getting close to beginning operation. We found a couple of college students willing to help, one a business major and the other studies computer science. Also a law college said they would help us sort out our non-profit filing. We’ll still have to come up with enough money to pay for it, but at least they’ll save us the bill of going to a non-profit law expert privately. So good things on the horizon for RAR. Lots of hard work ahead, but things look promising!

Stumps up? Stumps down? What are your thoughts?