Like many other TV watchers, I’ve seen the advertisements for the Pepsi Refresh Challenge that invites people, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that have ideas that will have a positive impact on America to come forward, share them and win money to make their idea a reality.
I am embarrassed to say that the Pepsi Challenge went in one ear and out the other simply because I didn’t have any bright ideas.
But everything changed when I got an email this week from Dan Shirey, the marketing manager for the Banfield Charitable Trust. His organization’s Peace of Mind program is currently in 12th place for a $250, 000 grant and the voting runs until the end of April. Their project focuses on helping people in hospices keep their pets and it really got my attention. For anyone in a hospice situation, it is a reality that the light is fading on his or her life and having a beloved pet close by can be the most wonderful thing.
Currently there are 1,138 projects in the running and in total Pepsi is donating $1,300,000.
This is what Mr. Shirey wrote:
“One of the most difficult parts of dying is saying goodbye to those you love most. Many hospice patients must part with their beloved pets because they have no one to help with pet care and expenses. Some pets are left homeless when the patient dies. Banfield Charitable Trust’s hospice patient/pet support program, Pet Peace of Mind, provides non-profit hospices with resources and funding to help hospice patients care for their pets. Over the past eight months, over 100 hospices have contacted us and are interested in starting the program for their patients. To find out more about Pet Peace of Mind, visit www.petpeaceofmind.org. We have been selected to compete for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project. HELP HOSPICE PATIENTS KEEP THEIR PETS is our project name in the Pepsi competition. Winners are decided by an online voting process and your vote will help us secure a $250,000 grant. Thousands of hospice patients and pets will benefit from this important program for this grant would provide funding for more than one-third of interested hospices in 2010.”
This is truly a wonderful cause. I have signed up — it really took just seconds and I am hoping that everyone who reads this will follow my lead and get their friends and families and co-workers to do the same.
I brought three cats from South Africa when we moved to America because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving them behind. A mere click of the mouse every day until the end of the month can possibly change the lives of people in hospices across America and allow them to keep their pets by their side. So please join me and vote every day until April 30.
Together we can make this happen. Here’s to the power of the purr – and the paw.
Read more of my blogs at Catastrophes and Other Tales.
Click here to read more Cat Blogs.