Letter to Our Supporters

173

Gulf Coast Bird Rescue (GCBR) is taking this opportunity to thank each of you, both old and new, and to update you on our recent progress.

Attorneys representing the City of Largo are reviewing changes GCBR suggested to the first draft of the land lease agreement for McGough Nature Park and we hope to hear back from the City in the near future. In the interim, the Board and Executive Director have discussed and are pursuing all options that may work alternatively, temporarily, or that may become available. The greatest need of the moment is a building location that can be used on a temporary basis for birds in need of assistance until our permanent hospital location can be built. A building where only minimal renovations or upgrades are needed prior to use would be ideal. If you are able to assist with securing a temporary location, please contact us.

In the meantime, our volunteer rescuers are working diligently to provide critical rescue services in Pinellas County and to date our trained volunteers have successfully rescued well over 300 injured or sick wild birds. While everyone is working to help, there is not a wild bird hospital facility operating in our area, which means the rescued birds must be transported to other locations, some of which now may be filled to capacity and cannot accept more birds. We continue to build productive partnerships with the SPCA, Audubon Society and Pinellas County Police Department.

The first fundraiser at Crabby Bill’s Restaurant went quite well and yielded great support from the community. We are working on plans for future events, as well as other fundraising efforts. If an operating location is found, resources to adapt the building for use with avian patients will be essential in facilitating rapid completion and the start of animal care in the building.

Work on other less obvious, but still very important, facets of the organization continues to progress. This work includes such things as development of the business plan and subsequent executive summary, scale drawings and construction materials listing for avian caging, construction plans for the new hospital facility when land is available, and development of a surprising number of internal documents that are required for optimal recordkeeping and management policies. Development and uploading of the GCBR website and informational pages was recently completed.

We met with an attorney who specializes in nonprofit organizations to ensure our nonprofit and related documents are in order and that the documents appropriately address all corporate and IRS 501(c)3 issues. The recordkeeping financial chart of accounts and the nonprofit accounting system has been set up and is in use. For those of you unfamiliar with nonprofit accounting requirements, this is no small feat! IRS has a number of additional reporting requirements for nonprofits that corporations operating for profit are not required to track and report. Additionally, law requires nonprofits to be exceptionally careful to isolate and track all donors or grantors restricted funds and ensure these funds are recorded and used as requested by the donors. As Gulf Coast Bird Rescue has noted before, transparency and accountability are a key part of the organization’s operational plans.

Last, without the incredible dedication and sacrifices of all individuals involved, including rescuers, transporters, the Board of Directors, leadership, and valued supporters like the Loder Family of Crabby Bill’s, Gulf Coast Bird Rescue could not accomplish what it has to date. Thank you all!

Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated!
Sincerely,
Robin Vergara


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