Chris met Kari at the backdoors of the St. Francis House Food Pantry warehouse to unload more than 20 bags of pet food, most of which were 30 pounds each. Chris is the Program Director for our Food Pantry, and Kari is the owner of Dog Tired Doggie Daycare.
“We met our 2018 goal!” she cheered. Chris whooped along with her.
For eight years, Dog Tired Doggie Daycare has held a pet-food drive for their patrons. They encourage people to make cash donations, which Kari applies to dog and cat food purchases. It’d be hard to tell Kari “no” – her laugh lets you know she has a heart of gold on top of the fact she adores animals.
The first time Kari ran this food drive, they hit their goal within a few days. This year, they raised more than $14,000, meaning they’ve had more than $80,000 in donations over the years. Every penny goes to purchasing pet food, particularly for dogs and cats. We’re beyond grateful for their donations because our resources are devoted to people in-need.
“If people are food insecure, then their pets are too,” Kari said.
Chris and Kari both want that to change, which is why they make great partners. We know how important pets can be to people’s well-being. Every day it’s open, St. Francis House Food Pantry serves an average of 85 families, many of whom have pets that are family too. I want to help feed hungry families!
Now, Dog Tired Doggie Daycare collaborates as much as they can with other organizations like ours to help the pets of those in-need. Kari delivers the food to pantries and shelters around Anchorage, and a large portion of it comes to St. Francis House Food Pantry.
“This will be broken down into zip-lock, gallon-sized bags and given to our clients,” Chris said to Kari as they wheeled the industrial-sized cart with food into the warehouse. “It’s going to feed a lot of hungry puppies.” Will you volunteer at St. Francis House Food Pantry?
Without hesitating, Kari replied, “Let me know when you run out because we still have funds to get more food.” Chris smiled and nodded.
Because of this pet-food drive’s participation and impact, Kari decided to transform it into a nonprofit. Just recently, the Normandy Project, named after a very special canine, started officially.
Kari pulled up her shirt sleeve, revealing a tattoo of an adorable French Bulldog with a scarf around his neck. “This is Normandy,” she said, smiling. “Our inspiration.”
We’re thankful for this dog – not to mention Kari and all the people affiliated with Dog Tired Doggie Daycare – who are helping to make sure families who come to St. Francis House Food Pantry can feed their pets healthy food too.
*Cover Photo by David Jensen Photography