Patches – 1996-2014

PatchesIt was spring 1996. Before the Olympics, before the turn of the millennium, before even my twentieth birthday. Three Emory University roommates moved into their first off-campus apartment, and decided it would be good to get a cat. That runt of the litter, given to me by my then-girlfriend (now wife)’s coworker, turned out to be Patches.

Shortly joined by his brother-from-another-cat-mother Mo, Patches was my companion for the next 18+ years. He co-habitated with me longer than anyone else – longer than I lived with my parents, longer than I have lived with my wife! Patches was quite the cat on-the-go, spending time 37 floors in the air in Midtown Atlanta, at the beach in Navarre Beach, FL, and for the past 11.5 years at our condo here in Midtown.

Upside DownGood times or bad, Patches was just – well, he was just always here. Never one to complain (unless someone accidentally stepped on his tail), his primary concerns were…well, not many. He was always very concerned about his next meal, and usually ate as though there may not be one. As long as he was fed, he was a happy, content cat – always generous with affection and appreciation. More often than not, his nights were spent by my side (or on my head) in the bed, where he could always alert me that morning had indeed broken, and breakfast time had indeed arrived.

Along with Mo, Patches’ spirit and what I refer to as a “cat-onality” embodied what this foundation was built on – compassion and generosity. When we decided to build The Mo Foundation, the goal was to reward microgrants to those who have given of themselves to help animals, just like our pets Patches & Mo rewarded us with their love, affection and compassion (and as our surviving cat Mia now does as well).

BrothersIt’s probably only fitting that Patches survived to see the Foundation finally receive its coveted 501(c)(3) status from the IRS only weeks ago. It seems right that the surviving brother lived just long enough to see that the Foundation named in the other’s honor was finally on its way to succeed, flourish, and help as many people (and animals) as possible.

We will miss Patches greatly, as we do Mo. We are glad that he is not in pain or suffering. We will continue on and emulate the compassion and love that they shared with us during their 17 and 18 years, respectively.

Mo Foundation Microgrant Recipient Tamyra Ramsey Receives Gift Of Veterinary Services

Tamyra Ramsey (Mo Foundation Microgrant Recipient) and Benji Kurtz (Mo Foundation)

Tamyra Ramsey (Mo Foundation Microgrant Recipient) and Benji Kurtz (Mo Foundation)

Atlanta, GA – The Mo Foundation, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, is pleased to announce that Atlanta resident Tamyra Ramsey is the latest recipient of a microgrant from The Mo Foundation. Ramsey’s grant was awarded in the form of a $250 gift certificate to Village Vets of Buckhead.

The Mo Foundation was created to provide microgrants to indivduals whose work supports the welfare of animals. Assistance typically comes in form of gift cards ranging in value from $250-$500.

On October 4, Mo Foundation co-founder Benji Kurtz delivered a $250 certificate to Ramsey, who was anonymously nominated via the Mo Foundation website, MoGives.org. Ramsey was described by her nominator as a

“bright, lovely, funny and caring woman. She has true heartfelt empathy towards animals of all shapes and sizes.”

“Since 1999, Tamyra has rescued countless cats that are abandoned or lost in her neighborhood by TNRing (trap-neuter-returning) and adopting those that are young enough and socialized enough to come inside,” wrote her nominator. “She has neutured entire feral colonies and continues to support colonies in Midtown and Downtown with food and medical support, as needed. She has on several occasions found dogs that escaped their yards and were miles from home, took them in and located the owners via microchips or ‘found’ posters.”

One dog, in particular, stood out for Ramsey’s nominator: Clara, a female shepherd mix who was lost in Midtown. She was unspayed and injured with no tags and no chip. Ramsey had the dog treated, spayed and named her Clara. While Ramsey worked to find her owner, Clara attended doggie day care. One of Clara’s handlers fell in love with her and asked if he could have her. After some time spent with the handler and his fiance, and when Clara’s owners failed to appear, Tamyra agreed. Now Clara has a wonderful home with a young couple who loves her, plus a new canine companion named Lucy.

“Tamyra represents the best of what The Mo Foundation hopes to accomplish. We are thrilled to support her continued efforts,” said Mo Foundation executive director Benji Kurtz. “We’re fortunate that we learned of her story and consider her to be the ideal candidate for one of our microgrants.”

Members of the metro-Atlanta community are encouraged to visit MoGives.org where they can share stories of individuals who work to ensure the welfare of animals and would benefit from the help of a Mo Foundation microgrant. The Board of Directors carefully considers each nomination and awards assistance to as many deserving recipients as possible.

About The Mo Foundation

The Atlanta-based Mo Foundation was founded in early 2013 by Claire & Benji Kurtz after the passing of their nearly 17-year-old cat Mo. The Foundation’s mission is to provide microgrants to individuals whose work supports the welfare of animals.

The Mo Foundation is accepting nominations for recipients of assistance, as well as tax-deductible donations at www.mogives.org. For more information on The Mo Foundation, please visit www.mogives.org, or contact Executive Director Benji Kurtz at [email protected].

The Mo Foundation Announces First Microgrant Recipient

(L-R) Claire Kurtz (Mo Foundation), Joyelle Jones (Mo Foundation's 1st Microgrant Recipient) and Benji Kurtz (Mo Foundation)

(L-R) Claire Kurtz (Mo Foundation), Joyelle Jones (Mo Foundation’s 1st Microgrant Recipient) and Benji Kurtz (Mo Foundation)

Atlanta, GA – The Mo Foundation, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, is pleased to announce its first recipient of assistance, Joyelle Jones, a rescue coordinator at Fulton County Animal Services.

The Mo Foundation was created to provide microgrants to individuals whose work supports the welfare of animals. Assistance typically comes in form of gift cards ranging in value from $250-$500.

On July 28, Mo Foundation co-founders Benji and Claire Kurtz delivered a $250 Petsmart gift card to Jones, who was anonymously nominated via the Mo Foundation website, mogives.org. Jones was described by her nominator as:

“probably the most dedicated animal rescue person I have ever met, and she’s only been doing rescue for a little over a year! Amazing. Joyelle has saved countless lives.”

In addition to her own pets, Jones regularly fosters animals from Fulton County Animal Services in her own home. In order to help offset the considerable cost of caring for these animals, the Mo Foundation’s Board of Directors selected her as the charter recipient of a Mo Foundation microgrant.

“We’re so grateful for individuals like Ms. Jones. She has not only dedicated her professional life to helping animals, but she opens her home and her heart to them,” said Mo Foundation executive director Benji Kurtz. “It’s clear in talking with Joyelle’s co-workers and others in the animal welfare community that she works tirelessly to improve the lives of animals without a home. We hope this micro grant will make her work a little easier.”

Members of the metro-Atlanta community are encouraged to visit mogives.org where they can share stories of individuals who work to ensure the welfare of animals and would benefit from the help of a Mo Foundation microgrant. The Board of Directors carefully considers each nomination and awards assistance to as many deserving recipients as possible.

About The Mo Foundation

The Atlanta-based Mo Foundation was founded in early 2013 by Claire & Benji Kurtz after the passing of their nearly 17-year-old cat Mo. The Foundation’s mission is to provide microgrants to individuals whose work supports the welfare of animals.

The Mo Foundation is accepting nominations for recipients of assistance, as well as tax-deductible donations at www.mogives.org. For more information on The Mo Foundation, please visit www.mogives.org, or contact Executive Director Benji Kurtz at [email protected]

Check’s in the Mail!

Well it’s been almost four months from concept to naming a board to writing bylaws and getting the IRS Form 1023 application done, but it’s all in the books – and the IRS has a big fat application check to prove it! We’re doing our ‘soft launch’ tomorrow on social media, and as soon as we get our 501(c)(3) approval, we’re going to really push things into high gear. The board has some great ideas for the future in terms of fundraising, and I’m excited to see what we can turn this little project into. I know Mo would be excited. Well, to be honest, he’d probably take a nap. But, all in the spirit of excitement!

Getting Things Together

Well, we’re about four weeks into the planning process, and I think we’re rounding the corner. We’ve got our Board all set, the first meeting is about 10 days away, and I met with our consultant who will be getting all of our IRS paperwork in order to apply for 501(c)(3) status. Lots of ideas, and not a lot of time in the day to do it all! Fortunately, I have a great group of Directors to help out, so I know that there’s a lot of experience and support to help me get this project off the ground! Stay tuned!