CSUCI alumna uses her grant-writing skills to help rescue dogs

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CARL volunteer stands with dog on a leash in front of the new cargo van

The power of the written word enabled CSU Channel Islands English alumna Tracy Moore to procure a new van to transport dogs to and from Santa Paula’s Canine Adoption & Rescue League, or CARL.

With what she learned in English Lecturer Rachael Jordan’s Introduction to Grant Writing Class, Moore was able to write a grant that resulted in CARL receiving $3,500 toward a new transport van. The grant was later reworked by a CARL volunteer and brought in another $25,000.

“I’ve always looked for an opportunity to use my writing to give back to the community,” Moore said. “I’ve volunteered with CARL and loved working with them so much, so I decided to write this grant to help them replace their old van. It’s such an important cause for me. People don’t understand the impact they have on the community when hey go out and save dogs’ lives.”

Moore was in the very first grant writing class that Jordan began offering at CSUCI. Jordan thought grant-writing was an important skill to have once her students graduated.

“When I began offering this class, I decided to make it a service-learning course,” Jordan said. “I thought, ‘Why have my students write hypothetical grants when they can write real grants for real organizations?'”

CARL volunteer sits with dog inside the new cargo vanA service-learning course describes a course that includes hands-on experience serving the community while learning at the same time. In this case, the grant writing class was divided up into groups and each group wrote a grant for the organization of their choice.

Professor of Biology Ruben Alarcon volunteers with CARL and has been on the board, so he was helpful connecting the students with CARL. Moore’s group wrote a grant for CARL aimed at winterizing the kennels.

But Moore took upon herself to take it a step further and write a more detailed grant aimed at getting a new van for CARL. Former public defender and CARL volunteer Jean Farley submitted the proposal to the Ethel Frend Charitable Foundation on CARL’s behalf and got $3,500 toward a new van.

“The van we were using was a 2005 Toyota Sienna with 250,000 miles on it,” said CARL volunteer and donor Marsha Moreland. “It was banged up and smelled inside. It had a sliding door on the cargo compartment that sometimes opened and sometimes didn’t. It had been rusted over from a prior accident.”

Farley, who was a public defender for 38 years before retiring, had trained in grant writing and figured that it was the best way to volunteer for CARL.

“After I retired eight years ago, I immediately looked for an animal organization where I could volunteer,” Farley said. “My mother had a lot of dogs. I raised three children and we always had dogs and cars, I’m just an animal person.”

Farley did a little rewriting for the grant in order to target it for the Ventura County Community Foundation Animal Welfare Fund, which resulted in an additional $25,000 for CARL.

With some additional donations, CARL was able to purchase a 2017 Ford Transit cargo van just in time for the 2023 Pooch Parade, CARL’s biggest fundraiser and adoption event of the year.

Moore said she plans to use her grant writing skills in her professional life, which will always include animals.

“I’m looking to go into advertising and I’d like to work in the animal space,” Moore said. “Anything to do with animal rights. I already have a pet-sitting business.”

Fore more on CARL, visit carldogs.org.


This article was originally published by CSU Channel Islands.

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