Montecristo Has Heart – Hopeful Hearts Walkathon
A post that isn’t remotely related to traveling with a canine will not happen very often. Promise!
Every year I participate in the Hopeful Hearts Walkathon. This year it is on May 5th (2012) and promises to be even more amazing than the previous one.
A Little History!
In 2010 Mom and her best friend decided to start a charity that would raise funds through walkathons for pet related charities. They set-up a website, developed a walkathon route – with map, Got a lawyer to draft a waiver for participants, found out what the city bylaws were and so much more. They called themselves Paws’n Cause. The first event was small but still satisfying as they raised a few hundred dollars for an amazing organization called Nowzad that helped (and continues to do so) soldiers bring home the strays they adopted while on military duty. Nowzad also works tirelessly for animal rights – with a focus on dogs and donkeys – in war torn Afghanistan .
Brittany Veinot the talented PhoDographer and now my dear friend, volunteered at that first walkathon. She loaned Paws’n Cause her time and talent for the event. She also brought with her a particular soft spot for an organization called Hopeful Hearts (HH) for whom she volunteers as a foster Mom, Photograher and jack of all trades. After listening to Brittany and looking into HH, Paws’n Cause decided that the next walkathon would be for that charity. What a success it was! Over $3,000 was raised that afternoon! So much fun was had and more importantly many many conversations that led to “shutting down” Paws’n Cause in order to focus solely on the walkathon for Hopeful Hearts every year. The waiver, the maps, the knowledge was all handed over to Hopeful Hearts to make their walkathon the greatest success possible.
Why Hopeful Hearts?
The volunteers of Hopeful Hearts are extraordinary. No one is paid a cent for what they do. In addition there is no kennel in sight! Only foster care is used. To make this organization even more amazing, the animals they take in are often those that no one else will. The senior that is too old (and blind) to be easily adopted, the three legged dog that will be bypassed over and over … the dog with a behavioral problem due to being a puppy mill dog, or having been abused. All these animals are rehabilitated, cared for and made to shine under the tender loving protection of dedicated volunteer foster parents. Training, medical attention and lots of love is lavished on each and every one of these animals.
Hopeful Hearts is not just about the powerfully motivated people that volunteer there – but also their high level of ethics.
“We wanted the people that donated to our cause to feel absolutely certain that their funds were going to be used solely for the dogs that we care for. We achieve this through publishing a Quarterly Report which highlights donations as well as adoptions for the previous quarter. Transparency is of the utmost importance to us … As well, we feel our policies regarding adoption are above reproach. Not only do we require applicants to complete an extensive application but we also request veterinary references and a minimum of one home visit prior to the adoption being approved. If we feel that the dog will need time to adjust, we ask our adopters to commit to visiting the dog in the foster home, taking walks etc until such time as we feel the dog is ready and comfortable to move on.”
The dogs come to Hopeful Hearts from all over … Canada , the USA and even Lebanon . Heading towards 300 adoptions, the success rate is slow but steady. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of these wonderful dogs and their foster parents. I can stand here right now, today and tell you first hand how much this organization believes in what they do, believes in their volunteers and believe in the dogs under their care.
So, I ask you now, today if you would sponsor me for my walkathon. Last year I raised $1200 all on my own. Funds came in from all over the world and I walked the entire route (with a few short breaks) to earn every dollar proud of the sponsors I had! I know times are tough and the economy is uncertain. I also know we all have our own charities we support as best we can but I beg you … will you find $5, $10 … $20 and help me meet my goal? Anything at all will make the world of difference.
I thank you, from the bottom of my tiny heart …. For the hope your donation gives.
PS: I invite you to watch last years video of the event!