It was a tough choice this month, but the votes are in. Here are the charities our giving circles chose to support this quarter…
Pets of the Homeless estimates that as many as 10%-25% of people experiencing homelessness have pets. Just as homeless people are at risk for illness and injury, so are their pets. Just as homeless people have limited resources to care for their own illnesses and injuries, so they have limited resources to care for their pets. But the bond between a homeless person and their pet can be exceptionally strong as this person has very little consistency, companionship, and love outside of their relationship with their pet. Many will feed their pet before they feed themselves.
Pets of the Homeless is the only national organization focused exclusively on feeding and providing veterinary care to pets of the homeless. They have 580 volunteers across the nation who recruit businesses to act as drop points for pet food donations. These pet food donations are then disbursed to their network of locations that provide services to homeless or low income people. In addition, they provide medical care, vaccination services, spay/neuter vouchers. They also provide metal crates directly to homeless shelters so that a homeless pet owner doesn’t have to choose between sleeping indoors and their pet.
Since 2008 they’ve disbursed 418 tons of pet food to soup kitchens, pet food pantries and homeless shelter. They have paid over $332,500 for veterinary care, pet food and crates, and have assisted with veterinary care to over 12,800 pets. Emergency Veterinary Care for 2015 exceeded $70,000, and they treated over 300 pets.
We chose to donate to Waves for Water to purchase water filters for Ecuador. In April, a 7.8 earthquake caused widespread damage along the Ecuador coastline in the Manabi and Esmeraldas provinces. At least 661 people were killed, 2500 injured and 27,732 people left homeless. Damaged is estimated at $3 billion dollars.
Many places in Ecuador needed clean water programs long before the earthquake. Waves for Water reports a good local network already in Ecuador along with good ties into the US DOD (Department of Defense) units stationed there. They write, “Together, as a unified group, we will be striking into the hardest hit areas areas to implement our portable water filtration systems with primary focus on community centers and IDP camps. Placing the filter systems in higher concentrated populations such as these, we are able to maximize our impact” In addition, they plan to replicate what they did in Nepal with their local team that was developed after their quake, and those teams now lead programs in India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Waves for Water sees this as an opportunity to build a regional team that will be the project leaders in disaster preparedness and response for the future calamities in the area.
One water filter costs $50, so our $1,200 would purchase 24 filters, potentially providing clean water for 24,000 people and over 24 million gallons of clean water. Please be aware that these numbers reflects potential and not actual users. The water filters can provide enough clean water to support 100 people every day, but the location of these water filters may mean that actual daily usage is less.
Farmers Veteran Coalition is located in Davis, CA. They help veterans across the country develops viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities to create a new generation of farmers and food leaders.
They have 3 main initiatives. 1. The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to a third party vendor for any items that make a critical difference in the launch of a young farm business. Since it began in April, 2011, the Fund has provided more than $800,000 to 150 fellows in more than 35 states.
2. Their business resources help veterans get started, learn how to find land, finance their farm, create a business plan, build a legal plan, develop a marketing strategy, design a crop plan, comply with food safety regulations, and understand farm organizations.
3. Their Homegrown By Heroes (HBH) is the official farmer veteran branding program of America. The HBH logo serves to inform consumers that products donning the logo were produced by military veterans. The program is available to farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and value-added producers of all branches and eras of military service.