Community organizations receive $3,750 in donations from IVC Community Grants program

1. Animal Hospital of Cambridge (Cambridge, ON

For this team, winning a $1,500 IVC Community Grant was a family affair, so to speak. Amber Verra, their Inventory Manager, founded Safe Paws Animal Rescue, a local organization rescuing and rehabilitating animals in need.

When the team found out about IVC Evidensia’s Community Grants – where hospitals can support local charities with a donation of up to $1,500 – they immediately nominated Safe Paws. It was the perfect opportunity to recognize Amber for her efforts and bring more attention to the cause.

“Amber gives all her free time to helping these animals,” said Stacey Ortwein, Practice Manager. “Even after a full shift with us, she always goes above and beyond. She’s there in the morning, late in the evening, on holidays, and on weekends.”

Beyond the rescued animals in need, supporting Safe Paws helps everyone else involved. In their spare time, staff enjoy bonding and socializing the animals, especially those that came from puppy mills and other traumatic places.

“It’s a good feeling for the staff to participate. It’s rewarding to give back,” Stacey said. “Since the hospital’s inception in 2004, we’ve always been involved in the community. Whether it’s participating in local Christmas parades or Humane Society events – we go, set up a booth, and connect with the community.”

Their advice for other teams wanting to reach out and give back to the community is to be clear about their reasons for participating. Always encourage those willing to volunteer, present it as a team-building activity, and take advantage of support programs within the network.

2. Bureau vétérinaire Saint-Amable (Saint-Amable, QC)

IVC’s Community Grants program was the perfect opportunity for the St-Amable Veterinary Clinic team to help Fondation Zarabella. This organization helps people experiencing homelessness by providing financial support and services so they can take care of their pets’ needs.

“We first heard about this program at the Managers’ Retreat and shared the good news with our teams. Everyone was excited about helping an organization(s) and making a difference in our community. We got together and quickly decided to support Fondation Zarabella,” said Janick Daigneault, Practice Manager.

The $750 donation will make a huge difference to this organization which doesn’t get any public funding. They rely on donations from individuals and private companies. To meet the organization’s needs, the foundation’s team handles all fundraising initiatives. This financial boost will help them accomplish their mission of supporting people by supporting the well-being of their pets. The organization’s founder, Anne-Marie Mousseau, was very touched when she found out that Fondation Zarabella would be receiving this donation.

When Janick Daigneault was asked what motivated her grant application, she replied: “We do a lot of work behind the scenes to help pets. We believe it’s important to remember the role we play in the community.”

3. Valley Veterinary Services (Chilliwack, BC)

This team chose the Chilliwack Bowls of Hope Society. They feed over 1,000 children that don’t have access to healthy meals at home. Volunteers prepare breakfast and lunch – including snacks – and deliver the food to schools in the area.

Bowls of Hope has a strong presence in their community, and they were happy to receive support from another local establishment. The clinic teammates were equally thrilled when they found out their application was selected. They also volunteered to make Christmas treat bags for over 1,000 kids in the community on behalf of the Bowls of Hope Society.

“We know this is going to be an ongoing relationship. Our team will be working on the community garden in the warmer months and doing some vegetable preparation for the Bowls of Hope society next fall,” said Cindy Arnold, Practice Manager.

They find so much joy in strengthening these types of bonds and becoming more involved in their community.

“A lot of our team works quietly behind-the-scenes caring for our patients. When they get to meet our clients or go out and volunteer, it gives us a greater sense of community,” Cindy explained.

For Cindy and her team, this is just the start of many more partnerships and outreach opportunities to come.

Stay tuned to the VetStrategy blog to learn more about our other Community Grant recipients. In the year ahead, VetStrategy and IVC will continue to offer Community Grants to enable our teams to play an active role in supporting causes in their local area, especially charities providing direct support for humans or animals impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.

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