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Jacki IMOM

Soliciting donations - continued

30 posts in this topic

Joanna,

I posted Cynthia's email because I have been around long enough to know it's very easy to only share a portion of an email with others. I wanted to make certain my entire reply to her could be read. Not just portions she might choose to forward to you and her other friends.

You and I both know there have been a flurry of emails circulating about this issue. Neither of us is totally stupid. And...you cannot always trust the people you confide in. Emails you think are private aren't always private.

If you read the entire email thread re; Cynthia, you will see that it's about her solicting donations for Benji. My reply had nothing to do with anything other than that. Her membership was closed after she blatantly added her blog sig. AFTER I had removed it and told her to stop.

She then proceeds to tell me it's partially my fault for the drop in donations? You don't expect me to react to that? I'm sorry but when someone blames me personally I need to set the record straight. If she blames me in an email she sends to me - what do you think she is saying to anyone else who will listen? It will be a cold day in hell when I do not speak up for myself and for IMOM. Do you know how quickly an org. can be forced to close when people start bad mouthing the Founder?

"Oh.. and as far as a the imaginary little group of malcontents... who cares if they're out there"?

I do when IMOM is getting bashed.

"Are they hurting anyone"?

Yes. IMOM vols. and future PIN kids. Not to mention our sponsored pets who rely on IMOM to keep their babies as healthy and well as possible.

I will fight for IMOM and protect it's reputation for as long as I am physically able. No one is going to bring down what we have all worked so hard to accomplish. No one.

As most of you know, I have not been an active volunteer for almost two years now. I had a crisis in my family, and have spent a long time dealing with it. I miss being an active caseworker - and the warm fuzzy feelings you get when you are able to save a PIN. I don't miss the "abuse". It's sad that some of you who are writing think that we are bashing ourselves, and don't see that the following is VERY hurtful.

"THis is part of the reason why donations are so low now Jacki : You have been closing PIN threads funds before they have gotten the full treatment they need. Your donors are geting pissed off. There has been a group formed with all the people that are pissed off at the all of a sudden changes."

No case has ever been closed without many many emails, soul searching, etc. It is NEVER easy to close a case for any reason - even when it is the obvious reason that the owner is not posting the minimum requirements. Sad that there even have to be "minimum requirements" for posting.

If anyone reads our financial aid pages, you will see MANY rules and procedures. For those of you who have been around for a long time, you will notice many changes. It is much harder to get approved to be a PIN now, than it was 7 or 8 years ago. Why all the rules and procedures? For all the times that there have been problems with a PIN or PIN parent. IMOM is evolving - and probably always will. When my TC was a PIN, there was no minimum requirement for posting - but who would ever think that a PIN parent wouldn't want to post every day?? Like I said, SAD. Who would ever think that people would lie about their income? Who would ever think that a person who had received financial help from IMOM (whether it was for less than a hundred dollars or for a few thousand dollars) wouldn't be grateful for it - and would demand more. Who would ever think that some applicants didn't thank the donors? Who would ever think that some applicants would resort to name calling and bashing? I saw a lot in my time as a volunteer. I see a lot of the same at the low-cost spay neuter clinic I work at now. To be called a f-ing c-word for insisting to an owner that they place their cat in a carrier was astounding.

Jacki - thank you for always being supportive of your volunteers - and for always defending IMOM. This may not seem like such a big deal to some people, but once a non-profit org has negative publicity, it's hard to recover. The only thing donors have to rely on, is our reputation. If we don't defend our reputation, we won't get any new donors, and who does that hurt but future PINs. IMOM's reputation must always be impecable.

And now lets get back to helping those PINs still in need.

Edited by Diana S

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Joanna wrote:

Ok... so that's it for me. I expect retaliation. I hope I'm wrong... but I expect it. You don't have to tell me that I was one of those who didn't deserve help with Mike and scammed IMOM.. I've already been told that, and it won't hurt me to hear it again... I know better.

To re-iterate... you guys are fighting among yourselves. No one is calling names, swearing at you or bashing anyone... you're doing it to yourselves. Oh.. and as far as a the imaginary little group of malcontents... who cares if they're out there? Are they hurting anyone?

Joanna, no flames here. And you know that IMOM worked hard to help give you extra time with Mike, thank you for acknowledging we did - that is what IMOM is about, helping people help their pets. I am happy for all the time you and Mike have together. We all at IMOM have pets of our own and know how precious that time is.....which is why when we give up that time to help a total stranger, it hurts to get nasty-grams from them.

I personally find this statement of Cynthia's offensive:

"THis is part of the reason why donations are so low now Jacki : You have been closing PIN threads funds before they have gotten the full treatment they need. Your donors are geting pissed off. There has been a group formed with all the people that are pissed off at the all of a sudden changes."

It has a VERY accusatory and threatening tone to me. And it's also untrue (which could also be called lying) - read Jacki's reply about it. IMOM does NOT close cases (other than for noncomplaince) - and at that, caseworkers beg plead and cajole to try to get applicants to comply before ultimately and sadly closing cases. And what are all the "sudden changes"? They don't exist. Our policies have evolved over a DECADE, true. I would hardly call that "all the sudden changes".

No one at IMOM is fighting, but IMOM volunteers do get tired of getting accusatory and threatening emails when all we want to do is help other peoples pets and we work real hard to do just that.

How nice it would have been if Cynthia's email would have said

"Thank you so much for helping CJ. With the ecomony so bad and donations down, I wish I could do more to help other people get the donations for their babies that I got for mine". Doesn't that sound alot better than the nasty one she sent instead???

It sure does to me.

Vicky/IMOM

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Good afternoon, everyone,

I've been reading this thread today, and have seen responses from a goodly cross-section of the IMOM community - clients and former clients, Angels and Donors, IMOM volunteers, and IMOM supporters. What a lot of us there are!

I've been attached to IMOM as a blogger (Mr. Bear Says Hello!), and as a client. As a client, I'm still astounded at the generosity and outpouring of affection and concern I experienced. You all literally saved Mr. Bear's life, and supported me with your good thoughts and good wishes when he was recovering from what was a life-altering change. Now I call him my Kinky Transexual Kitty Bear, since his surgery was that which reduced his urethra, essencially changing his outward gender. He's well and happy, not to mention adventurous and playful, thanks to you. He improves and catches up every day. While this change was slow, he's now at the point where a 4 year old cat should be: playful, resting comfortably, affectionate, and active. Thank you all, once again.

I was recently allowed to come into IMOM as a volunteer. Training was pretty intense, and incredibly eye-opening. Some of our volunteers have been at it for ten years, and yet they are still graceful under fire, compassionate, patient, and supportive.

So, the big question seems to be, what goes on behind the scenes? Well, I'm new, and willing to take a spanking for tattling, so I'll tell you.

The first thing we usually see with a case is an inquiry from the site, which tells us the client name, pet name, and some little bit about the pet's condition. If the client follows directions, we then see a lot of faxed paperwork, which includes bank statements, tax returns, detailed description by the client of the pet's condition and why they need financial help at this time. We also see, again, if the client has followed directions, an estimate from the vet, which describes the condition, and breaks down each expense, sometimes with the most urgent being highlighted. (Jacki, do I get the spanking yet?)

If the client hasn't bothered to read the directions, they send in the initial inquiry several times, expecting a worker to walk them through each and every step, or even to call them and walk them through it over the phone. Often, we receive the same initial inquiry, ver batim, as the info was cut and pasted from one email to the next. If they actually go back and read the information, some clients have to be given a numbered checklist of things to do, all of which is stated on the website. Some have to be sent this checklist many times in order to get the required items to us, and the volunteers have to cull away each step as it's accomplished, then resend the list. At each stage, the client is reminded that it's required they stay in touch with us, by email, at least every 24 hours, and that all emails from us must be answered within 24 hours. Many don't get this, and even scold our volunteers for reminding them. Some are insulted at the reminders.. 48-72 hours after their last email to us.

At this point, we also find that some of our clients have to shop around for a new vet, as their vet doesn't want to work with IMOM for one reason or another. I had this same thing happen during my application, and I can tell you it's the most disheartening thing to be told by a vet that their money up front is more important than the health of the pet.

If I haven't qualified for the spanking yet, this is sure to do it!

Once the paperwork and the actual application has gone through, the caseworker reviews the case file again, and makes sure all paperwork is in. If something needs to be clarified, the volunteer tries to get the info at this time, either by email with the client, by phone or fax to the vet, etc. The committee then reviews it, and, based on our funds available, among other things, a thread is added to the proper forum, and the client, who should have been posting in the Introductions forum by this time, is moved to the financial aid forum, where they are required to post at least once every three days. Yes, you read that right, every three days. We try to remind clients to post every day, as many times as they can, since the donors like to know how the pet is doing, how the client is doing, how things are going with the vet, and, like everyone else, they like to be thanked for their efforts and generosity.

Now comes the real weirdness. Some people resent having to post to the forums, and turn very nasty when told to post. Some have an amazing sense of entitlement, and think the volunteers should be doing all the work, posting for them, etc. Some scold us for reminding them that they have to be active in helping to raise funds for their pets. Some simply disappear.

And then, there are the people that it just wrenches our hearts to have to turn down. People who have had service from IMOM in the past, who are coming back to us again with the same desperation that drove them to us in the first place. Some are outraged when we follow our own rules about only being able to fund a pet once. Some are outraged that they have to apply again, if we decide to break our rules and try to find funding for a second time. But, the most heartbreaking cases are those when we have to stop the process because they didn't apply, didn't communicate with us or their thread for funding, or because they've become abusive with us. In one case, I saw that the worker wrote over 100 emails, begging the client to post, answer an email, anything. The client had just disapeared. The worker had to close the case for non-compliance after putting in hours, sometimes hundreds of hours, on a case, and is now devastated for the pet. Sometimes when a volunteer has to go through that, we don't see a post from them for several days, as they have to recover from the emotional bomb they just took.

Sometimes, we hear from the vet that the case is pretty hopeless, with or without treatment, or that they've been trying to tell the client that it's time to let go, but that the client isn't hearing it, or ready to hear it. We cannot advise the client on treatment or nontreatment, or even mention "other" options, we are not vets, or veterinary personnel. We're just volunteers. We've never met each other in real life, we've never met you, at least not for most of us. Sometimes, in the committee, we all just have a collective electronic hug'n'cry together.

So, there you have it. Jacki isn't the only one making decisions, but she gets more than her share of flame email, because she's the director here. Jacki, most often, doesn't even make the first suggestion of closing a case, for noncompliance or whatever reason, but she's often the one to get blamed.

If blame has to be assigned, let's make sure it's properly assigned, and not set on IMOM's shoulders because a disgruntled client doesn't want to comply with our policies, which, by the way, are all clearly stated.

Again, thank you to all of you, and brightest blessings,

`Randa

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I started the volunteer process but had to stop because of family issues. Everything 'Randa says is correct. Volunteers can go from extreme joy to heartbreaking sadness in a 24 hour period, sometimes even less.

I hope Jacki doesn't spank too hard.

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Thank you all for your comments. :magicmoon:

Cynthia chose not to reply in this thread. Instead, she tried to re-join the community hiding behind a new screen name and email address. She has been banned again.

:closed:

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