Ruff Start donations

From left Noah Erickson, Ashley Erickson, Alfonso Erickson, Eli and Evelyn sit among the donations they collected for Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton.


A social media drive has helped two families collect hundreds of dollars in goods for a Princeton rescue.

Two foster families for the Princeton-based Ruff Start Rescue collected over $1,410 in goods through a fundraising drive on social media.

The drive focused on supplies specifically for puppies and kittens, because the rescue usually sees a lot more juvenile animals this time of year.

“Typically in the spring and summer — this is where we see an explosion of kittens and puppies, not just in Minnesota, but throughout the country where we pull some of our animals from,” Kelly Erickson, Ruff Start volunteer and one mother involved in the drive said.

The two families created an Amazon wish list and added items that are always in high need, Erickson, of Loretto, said. They then setup a Facebook event to bring awareness to their donation drive.

Erickson’s kids Noah, Ashley and Alfonso as well as Eli and Evelyn — The children of a Ruff Start volunteer in Albertville who asked that their full names not be used — did most of the work online. They created a Facebook event to promote the drive and shared it across other platforms including Instagram, according to Erickson. 

“That’s kind of the beauty of social media,” Erickson said.

The drive started around the beginning of March and was promoted for about two weeks. That said, the wish list remains online and donations can still be purchased.

“We’re always, always, always in need of kitten and puppy supplies,” Erickson said. “They’re one of the things that we don’t typically get donated by some of our pet store partners.”

The kids were shocked by how much was collected through a simple request online.

“We had Amazon coming down our driveway several times a day — we had so many boxes being delivered,” Erickson said.

That success has encouraged Erickson to make the fundraiser an annual event.

The key to their success was how easy it was for donors to give, according to Erickson. All someone has to do is drop the needed items in their Amazon shopping cart, and the families took care of the rest.

“Over the years we’ve definitely found that a lot of people want to help, they want to make a difference, but you just need to make it unbelievably easy,” Erickson said.

Ruff Start is a foster-based rescue, meaning it has no shelter. Instead, rescued animals are hosted in the homes of foster families like the Ericksons, according to the rescue’s website. 

The wish list organized by the two fosters is still up and can be found here:

More information about the rescue, and other options to donate, can be found at

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