A Florida man with a big heart and a big social media following found his way to one Evansville, Indiana animal rescue where he put his personality and his followers to work to help raise money for the shelter as part of his 40 Shelters in 40 Days Tour.

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Raising Money for Rescues

Kris Rotonda is the founder and CEO of Jordan's Way, a 501 c3 non-profit that began after Kris's beloved shelter dog, Jordan passed away in 2018. Kris now travels the country as an advocate for shelters in need, making appearances at rescue centers where he and shelter staff participate in challenges in hopes of engaging potential donors through live-steam videos shared across social media.

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More on Jordan's Way

Jordan, like many shelter dogs, was an amalgam mix of several breeds including Bull Mastiff, German Shepherd, and Samoyed. She had been in the shelter for three years before Kris met her and made her a permanent part of his life.

Immediately catching his eye and pulling at his heartstrings, Jordan was quickly adopted by Kris. In their 11 years together, Kris took Jordan everywhere he went. Sadly, in 2018, Jordan passed away from cancer, but her memory lives on through Jordan’s Way.

Kris and his team at Jordan's Way have set out to travel the country stopping at animal shelters and rescues in need of support. They are currently on a national tour to visit 40 Shelters in 40 Days, and they made a stop in Evansville, Indiana.

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It Takes a Village

You're likely familiar with the expression, "It takes a village," and that is exactly the mentality behind the mission of It Takes a Village No-Kill Rescue in Evansville, Indiana.  They too are a 501 c3 non-profit and since getting their start in 2010, they have helped more than 8,000 animals. At any given point in time, there are approximately 150 animals in the care of It Takes a Village. The rescue doesn't discriminate when it comes to breed, size, or color, but they do have a special place in their hearts for helping those animals that others might deem "hard to adopt," especially bully breeds, black dogs, and animals with special needs.

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Live Streaming From The Shelter

Kris and his team from Jordan's Way made a last-minute stop at It Takes a Village where they held a three-hour fundraiser utilizing Facebook Live in hopes of reaching their goal of raising $20,000 for the shelter. During those three hours, Kris from Jordan's Way organized various challenges for the staff and volunteers when donations were made including the "tortilla challenge," pies to the face, and even a push-up challenge. As incremental goals were reached throughout the night, the dogs were the real winners as they got to enjoy hamburgers and hotdogs, and of course, they gained exposure to potential adopters as well.

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A Bit More Personal

On a personal note, I stopped by the ITV rescue center, located at 1417 North Stockwell Road in Evansville, around 8 pm and stuck around through the remainder of the fundraiser. I have been a supporter of It Takes a Village since they first got started over a decade ago and I try to use my voice to lift theirs whenever I can. It has been a tremendous honor to be asked by the rescue to emcee their annual fundraising dinners for the last several years, and it is a far cry from the early days when they would stick me in a dunking booth to help raise money. Naturally, when Kirs asked me if I would take a pie to the face in exchange for a donation to the rescue, I happily agreed. It took all of about 45 seconds for my dear friend Jama to donate to the cause - and to see me get pied. Of course, one pie wasn't enough, and after opening my mouth about a $1,000 donation, I ended up taking a pie from every It Takes a Village volunteer. [Check out the video below - If you want to see me get pied, jump to the 2:03 mark in the video]

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It Takes a Village via Facebook
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Donate and Get Involved

While It Takes a Village did not reach its $20,000 goal during the Facebook Live, they were able to raise just shy of $13,000. Fortunately, the fundraiser is (currently as of the time of writing) still open and donations are still being accepted through Facebook. If you find this and the Facebook fundraiser is closed, there are still plenty of ways you can help It Takes a Village. Visit their website at itvrescue.org to find out more about volunteering, fostering, or making a monetary donation.

Visit the Rescue

If you would like to visit It Takes a Village, they have two locations - one in Evansville, Indiana, and one in Spencer County, In Evansville, the location at 1417 North Stockwell Road, right beside the Stockwell Inn, is open to the public on the following days and times:

Tuesdays 12-5 pm
Wednesdays 12-7 pm
Thursdays 12-5 pm
Fridays 12-5 pm
Saturdays 10 am-5 pm

 

In Spencer County, you can visit It Takes a Village at 824 East County Road 800 North in Chrisney, Indiana during the following days and times:

Tuesdays 12-5 pm
Wednesdays 12-5 pm
Fridays 12-5 pm
Saturdays 12-5 pm

 

 

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