Thanks to a grant from Maddie’s Fund, we invested in a mass texting service to send updates out to the families we work with as part of our extreme weather action plan. To prepare for the winter cold, we decided to text an invite to families to pick up straw which is used as bedding for doghouses and cat shelters. The turnout was absolutely incredible. We gave straw to 160 pets in just 3 hours!

The distribution was amazing, but let me tell you what really happened today. Residents had an opportunity to ask questions and provide suggestions for services we can offer in our new building. People came as strangers and left as friends–two residents spent about 30 minutes talking and had never met before. One gentleman was able to drum up business–he builds and sells big, beautiful doghouses and a few people took his card to purchase one from him. Multiple residents came on behalf of their neighbors because they were unable to make it due to transportation issues or availability. And although the straw was free, our donation jar was filled from families wanting to give back and help others access resources they need.

Our pet resource center will be more than just pet resources–it promotes community within a community that already values community. It will be a place for people to come as strangers and leave as friends, and a place for friends to meet and access resources for their pets.

Today was just a glimpse at the potential. So much good will come from the 54,000 square foot building that will soon be transformed into Gateway Pet Guardians’ new home. I. Cannot. Wait! 

— Janet Alderson
Community Director