Alison Eastwood, Hollywood actress and producer talks animal welfare and crowdfunding with Sarah Timms, Founder and CEO of new nonprofit crowdfunding platform, LoveAnimas.org .
Sarah: What animal cause are you most passionate about?
Alison: I really love so many different causes that you couldn’t list them all. One day I’m helping cats and dogs, the next I’m working to save chimps or marine mammals! I want to work for as many animal causes as I can because they are all so worthy so I plan to go down trying.
Sarah: Tell us about your nonprofit, Eastwood Ranch Foundation.
Alison: I decided to start a nonprofit after seeing first hand what kind of terrible situations animals were in around the US after working on my show, Animal Intervention on Nat Geo Wild. I felt I needed to take things to another level and be more proactive beyond just doing tv shows and talking about the plight of animals in the press. Starting a nonprofit was a way for me to get into the animal welfare community and get my hands dirty.
Sarah: When did you first decide to use your influence to help animals?
Alison: When I was young – I always loved animals and would do what I could to help, from rescuing stray kittens to caring for injured and abandoned horse. It took me a couple of decades to channel my knowledge to help animals. I realized I could be part of something positive instead of just being passive about animal issues. I think that’s part of the problem – people don’t always realize that to make a difference we have to get in there, work together and make a stand.
Sarah: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Alison: I’m proud every time I rescue an animal or help somebody rescue an animal. Or every time I make even the slightest difference for the life of an animal. I try to do something to help animals every day. A lot of people believe that they have to do something big, give lots of time or money to make a difference. But the reality is that the littlest thing can help. Doing something little every day makes a huge difference – sharing a post about rescued animals on social media, calling the local shelter and giving cleaning supplies or towels. Those actions matter.
Sarah: What’s the biggest project you’re working on now?
Alison: My crowdfunding campaign to save research chimps. Recently 110 chimps used in research were released from federal labs to Chimp Haven. So I’m running a crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 to help ensure they get the care and protection they need. I’m asking people to donate $2 or whatever they can afford to my campaign – that’s a small action someone can take to make a meaningful difference for these animals. http://www.loveanimals.org/be-a-chimp-champion.html
Sarah: Why are you so passionate about this particular cause?
Alison: Because we owe them. These self-aware, social animals sacrificed so much for the benefit of humans. They deserve the best possible care during retirement, both physically and emotionally. Giving a couple of bucks to support their care for the remainder of their lives is the least we can do. I can help spread the word, so I will.
Learn more about LoveAnimals.org here.