Jeanne Mirabito, founder of Our Mims, and Cheryl Bellucci, director of fundraising and promotion, announced last week that a $5,700 grant from TCA would be earmarked to construct a hay-shed to protect and store feed for the lovely residents of the haven.
“This will save us so much money!” says Mirabito, explaining that with the additional storage, the certified nonprofit charity can buy hay in bulk, at a reduced rate.
This is the third consecutive year that TCA has awarded Our Mims grant funding for infrastructural projects, says Bellucci. Two earlier grant-funded projects saw the grounds improved by a gravel project that eradicated a problem with mud, and another to construct wind-resistant barn doors.
“We have been so blessed with these grants,” Mirabito adds.
Better hay storage will improve the facility and increase the smooth running of the operation in several ways, Bellucci says.
First, new shed will allow for the proper storage of a large amounts of hay, which will keep it fresh and free of mold and vermin, and second, the charity’s enhanced ability to stockpile feed will allow operators to negotiate for better, lower “bulk” prices, she says.
And, on a humorous note, a proper hay room is also resistant to the four-footed Houdini’s who never met a gate latch they couldn’t open, Bellucci adds.
“Jeanne was always trying to outthink our ladies, but they’re very, very good about opening the latches to a stall with hay stored in it,” she says.
With the grant check in hand, Mirabito and Bellucci, who already went out to bid on the project, predicted the new storage structure— a modified all-steel carport garage kit—would be up and ready for its first shipment by mid-August.
Deeply appreciative of the TCA for its latest grant, Bellucci says it comes at the very best time. “In today’s financial environment, we don’t have a money for a lot of extras,” she says. “We take care of our ladies, and our rotten gelding Elmhurst, with our operating budget.
“This grant means we can do things that we couldn’t otherwise do,” she adds, noting that Our Mims will look forward to the coming winter, with its hay supply tightly sealed, protected from the elements.
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