Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the Big Animals?
Big Animals for Little Kids is an all-volunteer organization in San Diego. We have 25-30 regular volunteers (12 or more events per year) and 50-100 casual volunteers (one or more events annually), as well as scores of teens who participate in our Teen Program. The Big Animals have been active in San Diego since July 2000.
What is our mission?
Big Animals for Little Kids has a unique dual mission:
Who benefits from our work?
Our 50 yearly events bring joy
to approximately 6,000 children annually. Additionally, we offer community
service certificates for junior & senior high school students that
choose to enrich their lives and experience the joy of giving by entertaining
the younger ones.
What do we do?
During an event, we and our teenage helpers dress in Big Animal costumes to visit the little ones. We paint their faces, play games, and take pictures of them with Big Animals to create souvenir “photo buttons” for them. The little ones see that someone cares about them, healing faster and recovering more fully. You may have seen Robin Williams demonstrate this effect in the movie Patch Adams. Most of all, we leave each child with a treasured memory and the assurance that there are people in the world that love them.
Our Annual Toy Drive collects thousands of toys that we distribute to homeless and desperately poor youngsters. We accept donations all year long. Each holiday season collection boxes are set up all over san diego and we also solicit corporate donations of toys.
What is the dollar value of Big Animals Volunteer Time?
Big Animal volunteers donated
5700 hours in 2011, which reflects a dollar value of volunteer time of
$137,770, based on standard valuations of volunteer time.
What are our expenses?
Since 2000, our $15,000 annual budget provided costume purchases, equipment purchases, consumable purchases and maintenance and repair. Volunteers move our gear to and from events in their personal vehicles, some events requiring two or three vehicles.
We are able to do over 50 events per year with only a $15,000 budget because we have no paid staff and we have stored our equipment and operated our administrative and maintenance functions out of a donated space, which allowed us to direct all of our funding, after insurance, directly to producing events for children and teens.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. EIN #26-3490647 ©2000-2015