Charitable Giving

Midwest FurFest proves each year that the anthropomorphic world is more than unleashed creativity and boundless energy -- furries also have big, big hearts. Here, you’ll find some more in-depth stories about recent charities of ours.

You can also learn more about this year’s charity and see our full history of charities.


SitStayRead

Last December, more than 10,000 people gathered to talk anthropomorphics, cavort in fursuits and have a ball at Midwest FurFest. However, they also made sure  more than 2,600 children in struggling Chicago schools were given the chance to boost their reading skills with the unconditional love and attention of volunteer dogs. 

Thanks to MFF con-goers, SitStayRead was able to expand its innovative elementary school literacy programs into kindergarten classrooms for the first time. Also, SitStayRead's end-of-year Keep Reading Celebrations sent hundreds of students home with six new books apiece! 

SSR executive director, Mara O'Brien, says the $90,000+ donated at MFF 2018 made a serious difference: 

Thanks to the support of the MFF community...we added two new partner schools in two new neighborhoods for SitStayRead, bringing our total to 18 for this school year. Also, the new kindergarten program utilizes read-alouds, group discussion, and engaging activities to help kindergartners identify sight words and key details in a story. Small group visits with Dog Teams introduce the concept of having dogs in the classroom while practicing Dog Safety. Stories like this would not be possible without the support of Midwest FurFest.

To learn more about our 2018 charity, visit sitstayread.org.


CRISP

In 2017, we invited the newly-formed Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and Support Program (“CRISP”) to join us at Midwest FurFest.  CRISP was created when eight awesome rescues and shelters agreed to pool their resources to provide low or no-cost services to help Chicago pet owners keep their pets rather than surrendering them to the city shelter. If pets cannot be kept by their owners, then CRISP will network to help place them immediately with a rescue group or no-kill shelter to bypass the city shelter completely.

The attendees of Midwest FurFest were able to raise $85,000 for this amazing charity! 

To learn more about our 2017 charity, visit crispchicago.com.


Felines & Canines

In 2016, we were excited to welcome Felines & Canines back to Midwest FurFest. Having previously attended Midwest FurFest 2012, where our attendees helped raise a full third of the money needed to renovate and expand their shelter, Felines & Canines returned to us with exciting new plans! Their new focus was the creation of a Rescue Center, which would assist in relocating animals from overcrowded shelters in the South, to Chicagoland. 

F&C Director of Development Kelly Thompson said that the $78,482 raised at Midwest FurFest 2016 provided Felines & Canines with the cash to directly purchase the land, which made this center possible. She further went on to explain the mission of this facility: 

Felines & Canines Hunter Stephenson Rescue Center is not only critical to saving dogs and cats across Northern Alabama - in our opinion, it’s essential to the animal welfare community as a whole. What it comes down to is simple supply and demand. Many of our Southern states have far more friendly, social dogs and cats languishing at intake facilities than they have homes for, forcing them to euthanize these “unwanted” pets. At the same time, many Northern states have more qualified adopters searching for their new dog or cat than they have friendly/social pets. This forces potential adopters to look elsewhere (like breeders and pet stores) to find their new companion.

To learn more about our 2012/2016 charity, visit felinescanines.org.


Save-A-Vet

In 2015, we were excited to welcome Save-A-Vet to Midwest FurFest. And beyond the $62,020 raised, it was a weekend that changed countless lives, bringing people together who, probably would not have otherwise.  Saveavet COO, Mark Ingles explained:

I am the epitome of a Redneck. I’m beer-drinking, NASCAR, just... West Virginia born and bred. I work on my own vehicles, I fix everything in my own house, You know I, I am a... Redneck.
When, Danny told me that we were gonna be doing this event, I, I’ll be very blunt, and I apologize for the language, I said there is no way in Hell. Because you have to register for this and said Danny, I’m not doing it. We don’t need it. We don’t need to be involved in this. We... We don’t.
What you have done for us has been absolutely amazing. I have completely changed my train of thought. This has been the most fun weekend I have ever had in my life.
I have gone from, I’m not gonna say I’m gonna be jumping into a suit tomorrow. As far as being a homophobic, ya know I… You tought me to not hate something I don’t know anything about, to be more open minded.

To learn more about our 2015 charity, visit saveavet.org.