Dear friends of Little Belle & family,
It’s a long time ago that I wrote about our fundraiser for Little Belle’s Dream. In the meantime the fundraising continued with your amazing support and everything we do for Belle’s Dream; the ongoing auctions, birthday raffles, Art Event, and Christmas Auction, and last year Cloudy’s very special Christmas Mission. You support(ed) this all so beautifully.
I’m sorry I couldn’t write an update sooner. I was about to write one last summer, but then our brave little boy Cloudy was in his last weeks, and when he passed away I was really not in a good place…
Then, end of September, Robert’s father passed away. Although he was old in age, it was still unexpected.
After the goodbye, it was also time for us to reflect on our future.
Most of you will probably know what Little Belle’s Dream means, but for the people who are new to our page or are following us for not such a long time yet, I will give a short explanation.
Back in 2018, something personal happened that made our life here very uncertain. The place we live in isn’t ours, and for months I was thinking that if happened what we were afraid of, we wouldn’t even be able to buy our own place. Where would we go with so many animals?
Some friends suggested starting a fundraiser. At first, I didn’t want to because I felt so uncomfortable asking people for money. But when time passed, more people said ‘Just do it! People want to help.’, and since the situation was really bad, I did start a fundraiser called ‘Little Belle’s Dream’.
You know, when Belle was still alive, I already had the dream to have a place we could call ours one day. In this dream I saw Belle at our own house, running happily over the big meadows… I’m really sad that she can’t be part of this dream anymore, but I know she is still with us and that she wants this for us, too, so we can help more animals in need. She was my inspiration to start our Sanctuary and will always be part of our lives and dreams.
Little Belle’s Dream fundraiser started, and wow, the response was so amazing and incredibly heartwarming! I had never thought that so many people would love to support us and have faith in us.
While the fundraiser was running, we found a temporary solution to the situation we were in, so we could stay here for the time being. This gave us also the time needed for the fundraiser.
Now, 4,5 years later, with the amazing continued support of so many friends around the world, we’ve raised the incredible amount of € 159.059,09 ! (See: Financial updates – Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary (littlebellesmagicalsanctuary.org) )
Our initial plan, for several reasons, was to move to Portugal, Spain, or France. And we’re now at a crossroads; will we stay here or will we leave and start a new life in another country?
One of the questions is whether we can stay here at all because, if you’re aware of the difference in house prices in The Netherlands compared to for example Portugal, you will know the prices here are very high. Our fundraiser was initially aimed at moving to another country, so it wouldn’t be enough for a place for all our animals here in the Netherlands.
We will investigate this option further in the coming months, and in the meantime, we will explore our other option, which is moving abroad. Our main focus is Portugal, Belle’s homeland. When I truly listen to my heart, this is my biggest dream. There will be so many more possibilities when the Sanctuary has a lot more space, also providing a whole other life for all the animals, and more living in nature. The search will take a lot of time, of course, with so many things we have to learn and explore.
Know that this is only possible because of your amazing support! Although a thank you so much never feels enough, I still say, from the depth of my heart and soul, thank you so much ❤️
If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas, please let us know.
And, if you live in Portugal or know of another place that would suit us and you would love to help us with our search, or other things, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Irene, with Little Belle & family