The future of Little Belle’s Sanctuary – Can you help us?
Dear friends of Little Belle,
What I am about to write now, share with you all, is something I delayed for some time. It makes me feel vulnerable and I am always a person who wants to solve problems herself instead of asking others. But now that Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary is involved, I have to step aside my pride and find the courage to ask for your help. Little Belle her sanctuary, my family, is everything to me, and with all my heart I want her legacy to go on.
The place where we live now is not our own place and because of certain circumstances that changed we really need to have our own place where we can continue our Sanctuary and to fulfill our dream to give many more animals in need a forever home.
Another part of that dream is also to give people the opportunity to experience a whole other way of living with animals. To feel and learn more about life through the animals with a true understanding for who they are, to learn more about themselves, to explore the world together, to grow, to feel the magic.
Of course, this was always Robert’s and my plan, to move to another country with a better climate, more space, and more living in nature, to follow our dream. That’s why I went to Portugal, to explore the possibilities for us and the animals.
During my research in Portugal I learned a lot and I also discovered that Robert and I don’t have enough finances to buy an appropriate property for our dogs and horses, for our dream to do more for the old and ‘handicapped’ animals, and to create something beautiful for people to experience as well.
We had the plan to emigrate already for years but because of my health (Lyme disease and neck trauma with two surgeries) we weren’t able to. Due to my health we also have spent a lot of money to help me heal. Nowadays I feel much better, occasionally I can still have a pain attack, but not that severe as before anymore.
Do you know who played a big part in this? Our beautiful Little Belle. Who gave/gives me the most inspiring insights in life, and who gave/gives me the strength to follow my heart. She and I will also describe in our book about how we changed each other’s lives.
Only at the moment, I don’t know how to continue our Sanctuary without having our own place. I don’t know how to make it possible to follow our dream.
But I won’t give up, and I will keep fighting, searching and thinking about solutions. Make my and Little Belle’s dream happen.
So, my question is: Do you have any ideas or advice to help us?
Please, let me know in a comment, by sending me a private message on FB/ IG, or to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much, your love and support every day on FB and IG mean the world to us ❤️
Irene, Little Belle’s mom
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Writing a book is a great idea and will help with reaching goals…. a couple in Oregon did this writing about their horse sanctuary and what it has brought to the lives of children with all kinds of needs. My suggestion is to look into writing and promoting a book…. i know I would buy one ?
Thank you, Alene 🙂 Little Belle and I are writing a book about her and my life, but that will take a lot more time. In the meanwhile, we hope to find other ways to make our dreams come true ❤️ Irene
Is something like a ‘Go Fund Me’ fund raiser available to you? The encouragement your and Little Belle’s FB postings are so important and beneficial to so many. The work you and Robert are doing is making our world a better place. Thank you
Yes, a fundraiser like GoFundMe is possible, we’re looking into that. Thank you, that’s so beautiful to read ❤️ Irene
Lieve Irene, Queenie, Robert en alle dieren, Niet opgeven. Little Belle’s sanctuary moet blijven bestaan, wat er ook moge gebeuren. Raad kan ik niet geven maar ik denk dat de Sanctuary kan blijven doorgaan waar jullie zich ook mogen bevinden. Heel veel sterkte wens ik jullie in deze moeilijke tijd en weet dat ik jullie altijd blijf volgen en helpen op de manier die voor mij mogelijk is. Sterkte !
Lieve Francoise, we geven zeker niet op! Dankjewel voor jouw liefde en steun, dat betekent altijd veel voor ons ❤️ Irene
I can only pray that you, Robert,Little Belle and the rest of your fur family find a satisfactory solution.
Thank you, that’s beautiful, Robert! Irene
I love Alene’s and Maureen’s ideas–both would be able to bring in significant revenue, I think. Another idea might be focusing on writing books for children. Little Belle’s story could make a lovely book, and how about one about Cloud 007! You could also follow the model of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and encourage people to financially “adopt” one or more of your rescues on an annual basis. Given that the Facebook page has between 53,000-54,000 followers, I’m sure you will find a lot of support no matter what fundraising option(s) you chose. You might also think about how other “star” rescues raise funds–for example, check out Lil Bub (http://lilbub.com/).
Thank you for your ideas, Virginia, very nice! Little Belle and I are already writing a book about her and my life, but that will take a lot more time. In the meanwhile, we hope to find other ways to make our dreams come true ❤️ I will look at the names you mentioned, thank you! Irene
Lieve Irene & Robert,
Ik begrijp dat jullie voor hartverscheurende keuzes staan….. En nee, jammer genoeg kan ik je niet concreet helpen ???. Maar… komt tijd, komt raad, en jullie ???Belleke zal ook nu wel weer de juiste richting aangeven….
En… vooral… doorzetten, niet opgeven, jullie hebben wereldwijde steun ?????
Dankjewel Kris, voor jouw steun, de mooie krachtige woorden ❤️ Irene
I think Maureen’s idea of a Go Fund Me page is a very good idea. Many people would help.
Yes, we will look into that possibility, Kathy, thank you! Irene
Yes I agree with others to set up a go fund me page when another dog needed funding for treatment we manage to raise nearly double the amount needed.
Yes, we will look into a GoFundMe page, see what’s possible. Thank you, Sue! Irene
I love Virginia’s idea of writing children’s stories, along with your book written by you and Belle. Irene, you are a very special person and an incredible writer. When you write in the voices of your animals, as you do with Belle and Cloudman, readers are drawn in to their stories. We feel as if they’re speaking directly to us and are such an inspiration to us all. These ideas would not present immediate income, but would provide for the future. I pray that someone, somewhere has an idea or a plan that will help now. Knowing how many people follow you, I’m confident that the solution is close by, and that Belle will inspire them to contact you. So many prayer warriors around the world will help bring the answer to you. ❤️?❤️
Thank you, Elizabeth, for your beautiful compliments, so nice of you! I hope to once write children’s stories too, but for now I can only focus on the book Little Belle and I are writing about her and my life. Thank you for your love and support ❤️ Irene
Irene I’m very sorry e hear that you have problems in your family and need to look for another home. I aso need to find my own place and know all too well the difficulty of finding a suitable place for myself and dogs. Property is so expensive! I know you would like to move to a warmer climate but have you thought about Wales in UK. Some areas are very low prices for property with land you can get a lot for your money. Similar climate to the Netherlands although a place called manorbier in West Wales is in the gulf stream and very mild. Wales has striking scenery and locations. I have been looking at North Wales for myself. They have some fantastic beaches. I do hope you find a solution. And I think the ideas above about writing children’s books is a good idea. Muck love Mick xxx
Hi Michelle, I answered your question already on FB 🙂 . Thank you for thinking along ❤️ Irene
Lieve Irene en natuurlijk Robert, doe wat Belle jullie en ons heeft geleerd geef NOOIT op volg je dromen en gevoel . Begin zeker aan het boek over jullie prachtige familie met elk hun eigen rugzak en ga door met wat je voor Belle bent gestart. Vele mensen over de hele wereld zullen jullie blijven steunen dankzij die kleine Engel die in ons hart gegraveerd is , Dus kijk nooit achterom maar vooruit en ruik de wereld en de magie net als Belle
3 augustus 2018 23.49
Dankjewel, heel mooi geschreven! Liefs ❤️ Irene
Lieve Irene en natuurlijk Robert
Volg je hart en doe wat Belle zou doen , leef je leven wat andere ook zeggen .
Jullie hebben een prachtige familie daar kan je een boek mee vullen , te beginnen bij Belle
Kijk nooit achterom maar vooruit , vele mensen over de hele wereld zullen jullie blijven steunen dankzij die kleine Engel die wist dat je de wereld kon zien zonder te zien maar met magie , dus begin aan je boek en volg je dromen
3 augustus 2018 23.57
Ja, ik ben hard aan het schrijven, elke dag 🙂 Maar het heeft nog veel meer tijd nodig voor het boek klaar is. Dank ❤️ Irene
Do not despair your dreams will happen
Little belle is watching
I live in the states and I can tell you go fund me is a great idea to raise funds
May be you could share your story with animal organizations, may be local radio station,tv station,local
Papers that value animal welfare
The book is a wonderful idea and I will buy it but it will take longer for generating funds
I also recommend selling some of your artist work because you are wonderfully talented beside the auction time
I know you will be ok
Do not despair because you are doing so much good it will come back to you ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you, Dominique, for your ideas and your beautiful words full of love and support ❤️ Irene
I think you should first create a Gofundme page (because it will be a more immediate help). Secondly, you should then write a children’s/coffee table book with little belle. It would be able to intertwine the life lessons little belle taught us into an entertaining book but it will also teach children important life lessons. I won’t mention those ideas here but would share them privately with you (so no one steals the ideas lolol).
Thank you, Carrie, we’ll certainly look into the GoFundMe option since many people mentioned this. I hope to once write children’s stories too, only for now I can only focus on the book Little Belle and I are already writing about her and my life. But I would love to hear your ideas about children’s books because I am thinking about it quite often 🙂 . If you like to share them with me, please send me a message at email@example.com Thank you ❤️ Irene
some great ideas already.. go fund me is always worth a try.. even if everyone who followed you gave £1 it would help. Also try asking help from the lottery etc as many good causes get funding. Offer weekends etc for people who would love to spend time with so many animals and help you too.. chargeable of course but great for the spirit. Don’t feel alone in this as you have so many friends to help you through it x
Thank you, Lisa, we will look at the fundraising option. We would love to offer people special days, only it’s not possible at this location, that would be our dream for at our new place ❤️ Irene
Ik denk aan een crowd funding er zijn zoveel mensen die jullie een warm hart toe dragen dat ik de er best wat geld opgehaald kan worden hoop zo lieve irene dat jullie een nieuwe plek vinden jullie doen zo supergoed werk dat mag niet stoppen. X x
Dank je, Diane, mooi om te lezen ❤️ Irene
I am so very sorry that you are in what seems to be a “tug-of-war” situation with your extended family. I do hope it has not yet, and will not become ugly — that is a terrible burden to bear. I think the Go-fund-me page is a great avenue to pursue, and there’s always your writing talentI I know your book about you and Little Belle will be a big hit; and what about a book about the family — a chapter for each of the fur babies. another idea (more for future income is to ask each of Little Belle’s followers to consider leaving a donation in their wills.
Thank you, Leslie, for sharing your thoughts and ideas, very much appreciated! ❤️ Irene
Hi Irene, it’s Marie Allison. Very touched by your plight. Lookedcuf Fo Fund Me and it is acknowledged in the Nertherlands. Go for it. Sorry that you are in such a stressful situation. Have been following your posts and you are such an amazing caring woman. My prayers are with you and that people worldwide will come to your aid. I have fallen so much in love with your family. Take care
Why not set up a PayPal account where people can make donations to the Sanctuary. A person does not need a PayPal account to give you money. I don’t know if you are charged on your end but there is no charge to using PayPal for the person making the donation.
Hi Jamie, we do have a PayPal account, see: https://littlebellesmagicalsanctuary.org/support/
I am in the USA so I don’t know how helpful this may be but here are a couple of links that might give you some ideas. I wish I had property to donate. Sigh. Love and hugs. By the way….you are a fantastic artist, writer and awesome human being!
https://blog.fundly.com/fundraising-ideas-for-pets-and-animals/ This one will introduce you to crowdfunding…kinda like gofundme
I hope this helps.
Hi Judy, this certainly helps, a lot of information! Thank you so much ❤️ Irene
Dear Irene and family. I think I left a note here earlier but can’t find it now. I am looking for an address and info so I can send a nice donation to you for Little Belle’s Sanctuary. I will send it every month but I need the address and info on how to send it. I imagine you would need it on a credit card, not a check. Please answer when you have time as I want to start doing this. I have been following your story and pictures for quite a long time and I love all your furbabies. Please tell them I will help all of them soon. So much love to all of you.
Dear Gail, so very kind of you that you like to send a donation and want to keep supporting us, so very heartwarming. On this page you can see how to donate: https://littlebellesmagicalsanctuary.org/support/
Thank you so much ❤️ Irene
Irene and Robert,
I think that ALL of the ideas above are fantastic and you should look into as many of these as you can. Also another auction with the proceeds going 100% to your move rather than splitting it elsewhere. You can resume splitting income later but for now, you need to focus on what can be done to get you relocated. The GoFundMe would bring in quick cash with an auction fairly quickly afterwards. Think anything pet related, not necessarily just Belle related the way the last one was. Consider contacting animal-related businesses to put ads on your website. I don’t know if the Netherlands even has this but perhaps a local or federal grant would be available to start a non-profit dog sanctuary focusing on unadoptable dogs that have health issues. Or, if you’re moving out of the Netherlands, then maybe contact the government of whatever country you plan to relocate in. Check with animal sanctuaries around to find out how they raise funds. The idea of having people virtually “adopt” one or more of your dogs and pledge to give a continuing monthly donation, maybe with a minimum of 1 year, would bring in fast cash too. Maybe sending a special monthly or quarterly message and picture to every “adopter” from their adoptee as an incentive?? The book(s) would be considered long-term income and probably wouldn’t bring in funds until after you move but that would be a good thing because it would be a fresh source of income after you’ve already established your new place and the GoFundMe and auction and other funds have run out. You could probably do an auction with donated items at least twice a year, close to Christmas is always a good time for that sort of thing. I hope you are able to figure out some funding sources to be able to live our the dream of establishing the sanctuary in a place that will allow you to proceed as your heart leads.
Dear Gail, a lot of thoughts and ideas…! Thank you so much, very helpful ❤️ Irene
Dear Irene, you are not alone, I understand thing or two what you are going through. I Know you are proud woman, but you are also a beautiful soul, compassionate human being and reaching out to all of us is brave. Try goFundme page, I think it will be successful. You have lot of followers who will be glad to help. You are good people, Irene, you and Little Belle are unstoppable force of ❤️ love ?! Always in my thoughts ?! Your friend Suzana
Thank you so much, dear Suzana, your love and support mean a lot to us. You’re a wonderful friend ❤️ Irene
Lieve Irene en Robert en alle lieve schatten, het is zo verschrikkelijk voor jullie dat slechte nieuws, zoals zovelen zeggen zeker niet opgeven. Ik wenste dat ik iets voor jullie kon doen maar met mijn bescheiden middelen kan ik niet veel doen, buiten jullie mojn steun en liefde te geven. Indien ik ergens een idee weet of hoor laat ik dat zeker weten. Met tijd en geduld komt meestal veel op zijn pootjes terecht. Ik hoop het van ganse harte voor jullie. Een hele dikke, dikke knuffel voor jullie,
Lieve Sophie, jouw mooie woorden vol liefde aen steun betekenen al heel veel voor ons. Dankjewel ❤️ Irene
Irene , do not give up,
your dreams will come true , there are so many around the world who loved and cared about Little belle that what you need will come , a GOFUNDME will provide in memory of Belle , Bless you and all that you do for lost and needy animals .
Thank you, David, for your wonderful supportive words! Irene