At Friends in Need Animal Sanctuary I have seen animals that are emaciated and injured taken in at FIN, and transformed literally into beautiful, healthy, happy creatures! Karen and Kim have found their purpose on Earth, and have taken the love and gift that they have for nurturing unwanted and mistreated animals and made a Sanctuary so that these critters can have a safe place to live out their lives. They do all of this through much needed donations. The City Library put on a fundraiser for FIN, and I was blown away but the outpouring of support from the people who gave! But Karen and Kim not only love animals, they love people, and have opened their hearts to many who want to come and volunteer: Scouts, community service, troubled teens, families who want to learn the value of giving back. I love just going out and helping feed the animals. Each one has a unique story, and Karen never tires of telling you about them. They are her babies! Potbelly pigs, emus, sheep, goats, horses, ducks, geese, turkeys...I have never seen them turn a creature away. When they run out of room, they find more room! They are truly valued members of our community, and I want everyone to know!
For the past year or so I have been volenteering my time helping tend to the needs on abused and neglected animals at Friends in Need. Along with getting the opportunity to share my love with abused and neglected animals, I have also learned much about many different species and how to meet their individual needs. There is one animal in praticular that has captured my heart. Her name is DK (dumpster kitty) she is a cute, fluffy, white, female, persian cat. She gained her name through her tragic story, she was discovered abused and abandoned most likely left to die in a dumpster. She had a huge gash is the top of her head and required much medical attention and care. Thats where Friends in Need stepped in. I have watched an animal that has been through so much and trust humans so little because of it, but as she began to spend time at Friends in Need Ive watched her slowly open up to me and a few individuals. I love Friends in Need! it is such a valuable and beneficial orginzation in our community. Over the past year I have seen the difference and the major impact that Friends in Need has made on both humans and animals. My wish is that I may continue to see such changes continue to take place :) The owners Kim and Karen have set a wonderful example for me and as a college student I have decided to major in business with the intention of one day starting a business just like Friends in Need that makes the world a better place.
Kim and Karen O'Donnell have really been an inspiration to me and to my family and many, many others. They are the most unselfish people I have ever met in my life. I will never ever forget when I first met them after hearing about their rescue of a dog who was left on the side of the road after being hit by a car. The poor innocent soul was left to die. When the O'Donnell's came across this special dog they immediately went into action. They were not and still are not wealthy people, yet that took that innocent precious animal to the vet and October was theirs! They since sold the home they once had and have built an animal rescue in Eagle Mountain. At first they went up against a lot of opposition with other people in the neighbourhood who did not want them there, but they continued to be kind and respectful neighbours themselves and have become an important part of Eagle Mountain, Utah County and the whole country in my eyes. They sacrifice day in day out without complaint. Kim has to be on oxygen because of medical reasons but will not ever give up on the animals in their care who they refer to as their "kids" and when they say "our kids" they mean it whole heartedly, they ARE their kids. They work around the clock with very little sleep caring for so many different animals who would otherwise be in dire straits. I was over there one day for a few hours with my daughter and we did very little in comparison to the O'Donnell's. Karen is of small frame yet she hauls hay, climbs fences, builds fences, tackles naughty goats!! She is a kind soul as is Kim her husband. What an inspiration. My own daughter told me that she hopes she will find someone exactly like Kim some day to be her husband. A lot can be said for someone who is a strong man who could be out with his buddies at night, but instead is side by side with his wife caring for all kinds of animals. They have very little for themselves. Their entire house is dedicated to the animals. They time I was there they had a dog who was wearing a diaper who they had to carry in and out. There was another who had been abandoned on the streets who was so week she couldn't stand on her back legs. They nursed her back to health. The animals clearly love them. Sometimes they even have to (as they say) send some on their way to Heaven, humanely of course with a kind vet who volunteers there and they are with them as they leave this world and they feel the devastation and loss that some people don't even feel when a human dies. They are totally committed to what they do, it's their life. Each morning Kim drives quite a distance to a store that donates food they would otherwise be throwing out which he then brings home and they cut it up and feed it to the animals. They don't get to stay inside in the warm when it is raining or snowing or boiling hot outside. They carry on and make sure each an every animal has a loving place to be, to be safe and cared for. They have inspired me so much. They need volunteers there as much as possible, but they have to do so much by themselves, almost everything, like I said without complaint. Just recently after a huge snow storm their farm area got flooded, it was Karen's birthday, but she wouldn't have that on her mind........Karen was out digging trenches. They are life savers and there has to be a special place in Heaven for those two. I plan to go and help them more this year and I hope that others will too because once you have been there and have met them and their "kids" you will leave feeling that with people like that in this world there is still hope, hope that people can be kinder and more gentle and show unconditional love and these animals do to us. Even abused animals are so forgiving of those that have harmed them. The O'Donnell's are a blessing the this world. Thank you for reading this. Jackie Ballif
Friends In Need is an amazing sanctuary for all furry and feathered friends. All critters that make their way to this little piece of heaven on earth are shown the utmost care, love and kindness. Kim and Karen O'Donnell are two of the most incredible people you will ever meet. I came to know of them when I had rescued Diesel, a black Schnauzer, from the Draper Animal Shelter that was scheduled to be put down that day. After several unsuccessful attempts on my part of finding him a permanent home, I called Karen and she said "bring him on out!". When I arrived, I realized that this was the greatest thing that could have happened for Mr. Diesel and I knew he would be well taken care of. A few years have past since Diesel and I made our way to Eagle Mountain and he has recently been adopted into a loving permanent home. I could never show Kim and Karen how grateful I am for everything they did for Diesel and ALL the other friends out there. In an attempt, my husband and I have organized our family and friends to go out and do fall cleanups/repairs and have collected much needed supplies for them on a yearly basis. In fact, I am in the middle of organizing another round up for this spring as I type this. I am so proud to have been involved with such a beautiful place and am so grateful to have Kim and Karen a part of my life - my forever friends!
The founders, Kim and Karen, are definitely committed and love what they do at Friends in Need. They turned their home into a shelter and take care of them every day. I helped them prepare food and feed the animals. It was a fun and interesting experience feeding large animals. While preparing food, I was talking to Kim and Karen and they were very warm and easy to talk to. If you want to know or experience what animal shelters go through, this is the perfect place to volunteer.
I volunteered for Friends in Need per a friend’s suggestion and found the experience to greatly exceed my expectations.
Kim and Karen are the founders of the animal rescue. They were extremely warm, friendly, and hardworking. Although I arrived early in the morning, they had already been at work for a while.
I first spent some time cutting up vegetables and fruit for the animals; it was a simple task but you quickly realize how much time it takes for only two people to do this amount of food preparation everyday. Kim and Karen have literally built the rescue around their lives—it is in their backyard and they relentlessly spend every single day making it is a safe haven for animals. Amazing! I have a lot of respect for Kim and Karen. The sheer magnitude of their passion and humility is a rarity.
I came down to volunteer with a friend in June. They had us help them remove the old hay and place a couple of new bales of hay down. My initial thought was that this was way too easy. However two hours later, I found myself nearly out of breath when we finish. I find that I had only spent a fraction of the day working and I was already exhausted. Karen and Kim do this day in and day out. I really have a lot of respect for the level of compassion and commitment these guys put in to what they love to do. I believe this is a great place to really get your hands dirty and really know that your making a difference doing it.
I came across Friends-In-Need in Aug. 2010 after reading about an opportunity to volunteer at their first 5K fundraiser. I contacted them that same day and even though it was only over the phone, I was welcomed with open arms, so to speak. Wanting to know more about their organization in general, I visited the Rescue a few days later and immediately understood why I was drawn to Friends-In-Need and their cause. What I found was an organization that genuinely and sincerely cares about the happiness and welfare of their animals. I was very much impressed with owners Kim and Karen O'Donnell, and their dedication to taking animals in, mainly out of horrific situations, who undoubtedly would not have survived otherwise. They know the story behind every animal rescued. It is their compassion that inspires me to continue with my volunteerism, both with Friends-In-Need and other nonprofit organization in Utah. I have experiences volunteering at the 2010 and 2011 Friends-In-Need Stampede 5k's, a local city Halloween contest, and visits to help feed the animals and maintenance around the property. In an effort to generate more awareness of the Rescue, I nominated Friends-In-Need to my employer last spring to be our next nonprofit service project . About 20 of my coworkers and I visited the Rescue to help repair fences and clean out the area for the pigs and rabbits. My coworkers enjoyed it so much that a second visit was made to Friends-In-Need to plant trees. I have worked with many nonprofits over the past few years and I feel Friends-In-Need Animal Rescue has been the most sincere in their cause and appreciative of the volunteers that they come into contact with. I highly recommend Friends-In-Need to anyone who loves animals and can appreciate a great nonprofit.