On a daily basis we gratefully receive donations of household items from the kind residents of Rhondda Cynon Taff. We also work with partner organisations and are members of the Furniture Re-use Network (a national organisation). Through this relationship, August saw us receive an enormous donation of preowned bedding and pillows from the Ministry of Defence. We decided to offer them free to Animal Rescue Centres to be used by the animals in their care. It’s then we decided that the best way to reach as many centres in need was to use the power of social media and put the post on our Facebook page.
Whilst we have a healthy regular following on our page, we were not prepared for the speed and extent of the coverage we had. We were soon almost inundated with messages from people suggesting organisations and charities who would benefit from bedding – including some from rescue centres themselves. That one simple post expressing an appeal to animal lovers went on to reach over 935,000 with more than 12,000 sharing the post! We had contact from people from Scotland, Spain, Cyprus, Canada, America and even as far flung as Australia.
We had over 600 duvets to distribute so two staff members and a volunteer responded to all the messages and requests and had them allocated in just over a day! 24 different rescue centres across the country (and Europe) benefitted from the ‘duvet day’. From the local dog pound in the Rhondda (on our doorstep), the Ty Nant Cat Sanctuary in Port Talbot through to Jodies Cyprus Dog Rescue and many more were relieved to know the animals in their care had warm bedding.
Almost immediately we started to welcome some of the rescue centres to our showroom in Ynyshir who were coming to collect the duvets as soon as they could. One of the first to arrive was Mair Gibbs, a volunteer for Many Tears based in Carmarthen and she said “These duvets are a godsend; they will help make our dogs more comfortable and help keep them warm in the coming months as we move into winter”. We helped fill her car with as many duvets as we safely could.
Many Tears rehome over 2500 dogs each year and the demand for clean bedding is enormous. So after all the various rescue centres had collected their allocation we still had a load of pillows left to find homes for. We contacted Many Tears once more to see if it would help them to fill a van and deliver them personally. As we were already going to Swansea for a collection, we thought it would be better to put the empty, outgoing van to good use. They were delighted with the delivery and flabbergasted with the amount of pillows stuffed into the back of a 3.5 ton van!
We have been overwhelmed by the response of the animal loving general public who have helped us fully distribute the bedding to the animals that need them. We are delighted that we have been able to help so many rescue centres who are using our donated duvets to care for their animals.
Finally we would like to extend as massive thank you to our team of volunteers for sorting the duvets and pillows to get them ready for collection and to the volunteers of the rescue centres who came to collect the bedding from us. This feat of animal bedding delivery would not have been possible without their support – thank you from all of us at toogoodtowaste.