Brooke USA Surpasses “Buy a Donkey a Drink” Fundraising Goal

Written by: Sarah Harper
Client: Brooke USA
Release Date: 2016-12-01

Brooke USA is excited to announce that thanks to the help of supporters and friends, the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” summer fundraising campaign is completed and has surpassed the fundraising goal of $98,000, ultimately raising over $100,000. This campaign raised funds to construct five permanent water troughs in the drought-prone district of the Shala Woreda  district in Ethiopia. Construction of some troughs is already underway and the rest will be completed by mid-2017.

The Brooke USA campaign will ensure lifetime access to water for 81,000 livestock animals, including 13,500 horses, donkeys and mules.

Integral to the campaign’s success was the “Celebrity Bartender Showdown” and silent auction held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center during the American Eventing Championships presented by Land Rover.

Brooke USA Ambassadors and Team USA Eventing members Boyd Martin and Lauren Kieffer were joined by Bobby Costello, Allison Springer, and Lynn Symansky, as well as Brooke USA Board Member Jim Wolf, as the celebrity bartenders throughout the evening. They concocted cocktails and raised awareness for the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign. In addition to this event, pushcarts selling beverages to benefit Brooke USA continued the awareness and fundraising throughout the Tryon Fall Series.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who donated to this campaign,” said Brooke USA Chairman, Dr. David Jones. “In addition I would like to thank Mark and Katherine Belissimo for all of their help with this important project.”

Donations toward this campaign helped 13,500 working equines, which will benefit 67,500 of the world’s poorest people who depend on them, as well as 67,500 other livestock animals! Each trough will allow as many as 340 horses, donkeys and mules to quench their thirst with each filling, as well as allowing other livestock such as cattle and camels to receive life-saving water

This project also includes training and facilitating “water committees” among the animal owners in the target area who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and management of the water supply service. These water committees have an important role in ensuring that the equines are properly benefiting from the water troughs. The project will also train the committee members on equine welfare so they can disseminate information and educate other equine owners and users coming to the water troughs on equine welfare issues.

In Ethiopia, which is plagued by both drought and extreme poverty, working equines are a lifeline for their owners. They are crucial to carrying out backbreaking household chores, plowing fields, taking goods to market, earning extra money so families can pay school fees for their children and to purchase food, clothing and medicine.

The animals haul construction materials, carry food and water to other livestock, transport relief supplies during natural disasters and much, much more, all of which contribute to the health and financial stability of individuals, families and communities. Unfortunately, these equines are suffering from a myriad of problems that are exacerbated by chronic dehydration.

Even though the “Buy a Donkey a Drink” campaign has concluded you can still help animals in need with tax-deductible Brooke USA Shop ( virtual gifts to support the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, Brooke. Gift choices start at only $25 which could, for example, provide a blanket to a hard-working horse in the mountains in winter, up to $5,000 which could help to stock one of our free veterinary hospitals in a developing country.

The funds raised by the Brooke USA Shop support all of Brooke’s equine welfare programs across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Central America by making it possible for our veterinarians to provide free treatment for overworked, dehydrated, injured, sick, lame and malnourished animals. It also makes it possible for Brooke to provide free training for owners, service providers, and entire villages in more humane methods of using their animals.

 About Brooke USA

Brooke USA is a 501(c)(3) charity located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which exists solely to support the overseas work of Brooke, the world’s largest international equine welfare charity.  For more than 80 years, Brooke has been alleviating the suffering of horses, donkeys and mules who work in some of the poorest communities on earth. Brooke’s scientifically proven, practical and sustainable solutions to enormous welfare challenges improve the lives of equine animals and the people who depend on them across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central America.  Last year alone, Brooke reached 1.8 million equines, benefiting 10 million people in the developing world. To learn more, visit .

Follow Brooke USA’s Facebook page. To support Brooke USA in its effort to fund equine welfare projects around the world, go to


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