Kitten season is off to a record start!

This beautiful girl is April and she’s the proud mama of 10 healthy kittens. Yes, 10 kittens! This is the first time in VOKRA history a mama has successful delivered 10 healthy babies.

Each year during kitten season more than 900 kittens are born in our care. And if April’s litter is any indication, this season will be no different. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we can’t support this many kittens without the help of people like you.

Kittens in our care have a chance at a happy, safe and healthy life. With so many kittens, April isn’t able to care for them all on her own. She simply doesn’t have enough milk to support this many babies and, if she would have given birth on the street, it’s certain some of them would not be alive today.

Thankfully we were able to rescue April in time and she gave birth in a safe space. Her foster mom Brenda is ensuring all the kittens get enough to eat through bottle feeding so everyone’s thriving.

Between the cost of special kitten formula and supplements, nursing kits and medical care we anticipate the cost to support each of these kittens is more than $150. That adds up to more than $1,500 just for this litter alone.

Will you help us today?

Your support today will help us buy extra food and litter, and will also pay for veterinary care and medication.

Please donate today to help save kittens like April’s.

A special thank you to Laureen Stokes for taking the photos of April and her family!

Volunteer of the Month – May 2017

April showers bring May flowers…right? While it has been a rainy April we’re sure hoping for the sun to shine for everyone in May! But at VOKRA we’re lucky because we get sunshine everyday from all our lovely volunteers and it’s time to celebrate our Volunteer of the Month – Marlene Smith!

Marlene has always been a cat lover, having been involved with several cat rescue organizations. She joined the VOKRA volunteer team more than four years ago at an adoption event. She fostered a few cats here and there for a couple months, but decided not to continue due to her resident cats being less than amused by the lack of attention they were receiving. However, over the years she’s picked up short-term fostering again until longer term fosters can be found in Surrey or Vancouver.

Working from home, Marlene takes on many tasks at VOKRA. She enters health and medical information of kitties into our database, handles calendar distribution in Surrey and organizes community and fundraising events. As well, Marlene assists with the collection of donations, preparing tax receipts and documenting payments for online auctions. The volunteering doesn’t stop there! Marlene has also administrated and reported on two spay/neuter grants for VOKRA in Surrey.

“It was a learning experience and brought me in contact with people from many walks of life,” says Marlene. “This involved speaking with cat owners, setting up vet appointments and driving to and from vets to meet surgery times when an owner didn’t have transportation. In addition, I was trying to find carriers, washing carriers and delivering carriers for transport to and from the vet.”

Marlene truly is a hard worker, helping with emergency pick-ups and driving calls for injured cats or kittens that need a fast trip to the vet or our Operations Centre – no speeding tickets so far! She also prepares adoption papers in Surrey and meets with adopters. It’s a great way to meet people and share the information VOKRA provides during the adoption process.

Marlene is happy to volunteer with VOKRA, along with all the great volunteers who are associated with our organization. We too are over the moon to have Marlene as one of our volunteers. So, this month, we’re celebrating Marlene Smith as our wonderful Volunteer of the Month! Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to VOKRA!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

Calling all graphic designers!

Each year VOKRA produces and sells a calendar to raise money for the kitties. The time has now come to refresh the design and we’re looking for a volunteer designer/design firm to be our redesign partner. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we can’t afford design costs, but our partner will be remunerated by having their name on the calendar as our design partner, free sponsorship on one of the calendar months for one year, lots of purrs from our cats in need of homes and hugs from our volunteers and cat adopters.

Goals:

  • Fundraising! Last year we raised $15,000 and we’re looking to grow this each year.
  • Brand messaging – To tell our story through the kitties featured each month on the calendar.
  • Building community – Providing adopters an opportunity to see their kitties in the calendar and introducing new people to VOKRA.

Process:

We’re looking for expressions of interest based on the below criteria. We’ll choose one partner who will then provide us with three design options to choose from. There are no design requirements as part of the expression of interest. Expressions of interest are due by May 1, 2017.

Please include the following in your response:

  • Information about your background and relevant experience
  • Any calendar design experience, including pictures of such designs (otherwise, please provide pictures of similar elements in designs you have worked on)
  • Information about your volunteer experiences, if any
  • A short paragraph about why you’d like to volunteer on this assignment for VOKRA

Redesign Criteria:

  • Functionality is key. In previous years we’ve sold calendar date squares to people so they can see their adopted cats in the calendar. This has been a challenge as end users are then unable to write on the calendar because the dates squares are full. As such, the new design should leave the dates squares open.
  • Please think outside the (litter) box. We’re open to any design format that meets the redesign criteria. This includes overall size and shape.
  • A look and feel that fits with VOKRA’s mission statement and personality (see below).
  • The calendar must include space for a feature cat photo each month, along with their brief story (approx. 2–3 lines) in a prominent way as part of each month’s calendar page. We’d like the story to be incorporated as part of the picture.
  • Thought should be put into how a sponsor’s logo can be incorporated into each month.
  • As we’d like to continue to offer adopters the opportunity to see their kitties in the calendar, we envision the ability to incorporate 5 -6 small photos into each month. This should be taken into account in the overall design.
  • Format and design: We’re flexible and open to suggestions.

For any questions or further discussion on this RFP, please contact Majid Khoury at 604-725-5892 or strategy@majidkhoury.com

Electronic submissions are preferred and can be emailed to strategy@majidkhoury.com by May 1, 2017.

Learn more about VOKRA on our website at vokra.ca or visit our Facebook page.


VOKRA’s mission is to end cat overpopulation and homelessness. We rescue, heal, then place cats—first in our network of foster homes, then in carefully matched, loving, forever homes. We are a passionate, volunteer-driven charity with extensive cat care experience. We believe that no-kill is the only responsible approach, that Trap Neuter Return works and that cats are AWESOME!

Key messaging to support the positioning:

  • No-kill policy
  • 100% volunteer-driven
  • All donations go to cat care
  • Cats live in foster homes, not cages
  • TNR program to reduce feral cat populations
  • Operated by experts on cats and cat health
  • Stringent policies and procedures related to the health and nutrition of cats in the care of VOKRA fosters
  • Stringent policies and procedures for accepting the right adopters who align with VOKRA’s love, protection, and respect for the adopted cats
  • Volunteers have a wealth of information and best practices on cats’ health, nutrition and behavioural issues

VOKRA personality to set the tone of branding/marketing/communications look and feel:

Professional, trustworthy, compassionate, caring, knowledgeable, organized, yet loveable and playful, like a cat.

 

 

 

Come run with us on June 25!

On June 25, Team VOKRA will be participating in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and 5k run/walk and we want you to join us. It might not change your life, but your support will definitely help change the lives of the more than 1,400 kitties we rescue each year.

Kitties like Tortilla. After her owner passed away the person she ended up with wanted to have her euthanized. Thankfully the vet refused and we were called to take her in. Tortilla’s around 15 years old and when she arrived at our Operations Centre she was covered in fleas and lice and needed a medical check-up to investigate a lump on her chest (which thankfully turned out to be nothing). Without VOKRA Tortilla would be dead.

Today Tortilla is recovering from her ordeal in foster care and will soon be looking for her new forever home. Unfortunately Tortilla’s story is not uncommon and kitties like her wouldn’t be saved without the help of everyone at VOKRA and donors like you.

You don’t have to be an athlete to join. And few on our team have ever fundraised before either (you only need to commit to raising a minimum of $50). All you need is a love of cats. This love is what unites us as a team and carries us all over the finish line!

It’s super easy to get started. To join Team VOKRA simply click here to register. And, as a bonus, each team member is entitled to a special preferred rate. To get the preferred rate be sure to enter one of the following PIN codes:

Half-Marathon discount code: 17VOKRA21K
5K discount code: 17VOKRA5K

Once you’re registered you’ll receive a link to your personal fundraising page so you can get started right away. And to help ensure you achieve your goal, Team VOKRA will provide you with a motivational emails to help you fundraise. We’ll also invite you to join the Team VOKRA Facebook group so you can connect with your fellow team members. So there’s no excuses! Sign up today and join Team VOKRA!

Be sure to reserve your Team VOKRA spot as soon as possible so you don’t miss out!

Don’t want to run? You can still help when you sponsor Team VOKRA today!

Volunteer of the Month – March 2017

We’ve zipped through the first two months of 2017 with great success in saving kitties, and we only plan to rescue more this month, but not without first thanking our Volunteer of the Month, Nina Maravic!

Nina began her role at VOKRA nearly two years ago, shortly after she adopted her two cats. In her first year, she took on the role of a volunteer recruitment coordinator. She wanted to become even more involved with the organization and so began her transition into planning events.

As an event planner at VOKRA, Nina works hard to make sure the events we participate in run smoothly. The first event Nina planned was the online Christmas Craft Fair in 2015 and included items from creative volunteers and local shops. Nina also organizes information booths at pet food stores, community events and pet conventions. Some large-scale events include the Pride Festival and Canada Day, which are great opportunities to raise awareness for VOKRA and kitties in need. In addition, Nina manages school visits where kittens are brought into classrooms and students learn about cat welfare and VOKRA.

“My favourite part of volunteering is planning outreach events that positively impact the community,” said Nina. “I recently worked with SFU on their first Kitten Therapy initiative (ours as well!), which got a lot of media attention and positive feedback from the students. I also love the teamwork that goes into all aspects of volunteering with VOKRA, whether it be the planning, trapping, fostering or any other job. It’s amazing that such a large group of individuals can come together for a common goal.”

We really appreciate Nina’s hard work and dedication to VOKRA

“Nina is an exceptionally hard worker and very curious about all the different volunteer areas within VOKRA,” says fellow volunteer Valerie. “She stepped in and did a wonderful job with the recruitment team before she moved onto the volunteer committee and off to join the fundraising committee. Her skills in setting up events, including all the preparation and organization required, is exceptional. She has introduced a team to handle school presentations which is very popular and a wonderful tool to educate younger people. She’s a very busy volunteer with fresh and new ideas and is a great asset to the VOKRA team!”

Once again, Nina plays such an important role within our organization and we wouldn’t know what to do without her. Thank you, Nina!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

Volunteer of the Month – February 2017

peggy-sullivanIt’s the month of love and we have all the love to give for our volunteers. This February, we’re giving our biggest thanks to Volunteer of the Month Peggy Sullivan!

Peggy joined the VOKRA team seven years ago when her friend invited her to volunteer. As a busy individual, she always told herself she would work with animals in some way when she found time. As the adoptions team lead, Peggy’s in charge of training adoption counsellors and ensuring VOKRA’s kitties are going to the best forever homes available. She oversees the processes of matching kitties to applicants and making sure the adoptions team works together to make both the kitty and the adopter happy.

“I work with amazing people at the VOKRA family and have never worked with such a dedicated, unselfish group of people before,” says Peggy. “I have a team of ten members who I’m so proud of. They work tirelessly, they are excellent team players and they’re incredibly dedicated to the cause. We adopted out about 1,400 cats and kittens last year and we’re working harder to beat that number this year.”

The best part of being the adoptions team lead for Peggy is to see how each and every adopter is so committed to the kitties and that the team gets to find furever homes for the kitties that come into VOKRA’s care.

We truly appreciate all the work Peggy puts into this organization because, without her dedication and hard work, the process of adoptions wouldn’t run like clockwork! We thank you Peggy for all the time and effort you put in to make the lives of VOKRA kitties better, one at a time. You’re the best!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

Volunteer of the Month – January 2017

dsc00625It’s a new year! What does that mean for us at VOKRA? It means a whole new year dedicated to saving and improving the lives of kitties. However, that’s not possible without the help of our lovely volunteers who pour their hearts and souls into their roles. To kick of 2017 we’d like to give a special shout out to our first Volunteer of the Month for the year, Joyce Grassi!

If you’ve ever visited VOKRA’s website to adopt a kitty or two, learn about our organization or seek volunteer opportunities, you’ve come across our galleries of cats and kittens. Joyce joined VOKRA as a photography coordinator in September 2015. This role not only fueled her love for cats, but also her passion for photography. As the photography coordinator, Joyce is the link between our volunteer photographers and fosters who need a photo session done for the kitties in their care. Once the adorable photos are captured, it’s Joyce’s job to upload them to the website. Additionally, she coordinates with fosters when she notices cats need updated photos. Joyce has seen great success in getting kitties adopted quickly after new and improved photos have been uploaded to our site. She enjoys letting the photographer know when there has been a successful adoption – warm fuzzies all around!

One of Joyce’s favourite moments so far has been meeting the kitties who star in VOKRA’s current Facebook banner photos:

15625642_10154817030269687_8008902298786926849_o

Here is Joyce with Suzie-Q behind the scenes of the banner shoot:

joyce-and-suzie-q

Joyce enjoys volunteering with VOKRA as it brings satisfaction to hear applicants are interested in a specific cat as a result of seeing their awesome portraits. As a frequent traveler, being a photography coordinator works well for Joyce as she always has her laptop and files with her, giving her access to coordinate photo sessions whenever and wherever.

Without Joyce, our website and social media channels would seriously be lacking a great number of photos.  We’re grateful we have an incredibly dedicated coordinator on our team to make sure aesthetically our kitties are looking sharp in our galleries. Thank you Joyce for playing a crucial role in helping our kitties find their forever homes and family. You’re sincerely the best!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.