In August, The Advocate wrote about a new local charity called K9 Care-A-Van, an organization supported by both the Benton County Heartland Humane Society and the National Pets of the Homeless organization, among others. These groups, brought together by longtime shelter volunteer Peter Ewald, want to build a mobile kennel space to offer shelter and care for the pets of people experiencing homelessness, as they often can’t bring their pets into important places like medical facilities, shelters or business for job interviews.
Since the publication of our first article (K-9 Care-A-Van Services Pets of the Homeless), K9 Care-A-Van has been offered a $10,000 challenge grant by the Creag Foundation of Woodinville, WA, which will match any donations to K9 Care-A-Van until the end of this year, up to $10,000. The Creag Foundation is a private grant-making foundation who focuses on nonprofits who are “addressing a previously unaddressed social issue.”
“They didn’t accept that this was just the way things were,” said Robyn Christenson, executive director of the foundation when asked why K9 Care-A-Van stood out to them, “They found a solution and are working every day to make the solution a reality.”
Asked what he thinks of the potential of the grant, Ewald says, “it’s already making an impact.” He believes the Creag Foundation grant is a statement about the potential of the K9 Care-A-Van endeavor. “People have wondered about whether or not we were going to do this,” said Ewald, but after being offered the grant, says he has noticed an uptick in donations. Ewald think the new chance for funding has persuaded people that “this must be serious.”
Ewald has been out advertising K9 Care-A-Van and its new opportunities, and he doesn’t plan on stopping there. He’s hoping to reach more individual donors, as well as businesses, and plans on building on the confidence the Creag Foundation has shown them to attract more grants and funding.
CORRECTION: This article incorrectly identified Benton County Heartland Humane Society and Pets of the Homeless as partners of K9 Care-A-Van, when in fact they are supporters. This has since been corrected.