Companion animals provide unconditional love, friendship, a sense of structure and responsibility for their homeless caretakers, increasing both of their chances for survival,
Los Angeles, CA: The Giving Spirit-a nonprofit serving homeless individuals in Los Angeles since 1999-announced today that it will be serving 1,200 companion animals and their guardians by assembling 1,200 "Companion Animal Kits" at the Westchester Municipal Building on November 5 - 9, 2021, all while sounding the call for volunteers and donations to help make the initiative a resounding success.
The Giving Spirit will also host a Zoom-based educational event to lead a dialogue on the critical issue of homelessness for humans and animals alike. The event will be held on Friday, November 5 from noon to 1 p.m. and is open to the public. The Giving Spirit has released a corresponding companion animal short film that explores the importance of the human-animal bond for people experiencing housing insecurity.
"Companion animals provide unconditional love, friendship, a sense of structure and responsibility for their homeless caretakers, increasing both of their chances for survival," said Tom Bagamane, founder and CEO of The Giving Spirit, noting that an estimated 10 percent of homeless people in the U.S. have pets. "Each Companion Animal Kit helps maintain that relationship and provides for access to agencies with services and connections to housing."
1,200 Companion Animals & Guardians Served in Five Days – Support Needed
The Companion Animal Kits will be distributed "to help sustain and enhance two lives with one loving gift," Bagamane said.
The Companion Animal Kits are packed in a sport bag and include a fleece blanket, collapsible bowls, dog shampoo, adjustable collar, flea comb, leash, chew toys, snacks and much more. The Companion Animal Kits are a complement to the universal and women's and young girls survival kits that The Giving Spirit distributes on a regular basis. To date, The Giving Spirit and its 21,000 volunteers have served more than 87,000 homeless people with life-saving survival assistance across greater Los Angeles since 1999.
The Giving Spirit's agency partners will identify kit recipients in advance and will pick up their Companion Animal Kits from the Westchester site and deliver them directly into the hands of those in need.
"Kits access lives," Bagamane said. "It's about lives served, both in the streets and in our communities. Our kit outreach unveils the true realities of poverty that they are truly us."
The Giving Spirit is seeking donations and volunteers to assist with kit assembly shifts at the Westchester Municipal Building on November 5 - 9, 2021. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required. Prospective volunteers and donors may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.TheGivingSpirit.org for more information.
"Two Lives, One Heart" Educational Event on November 5
The Giving Spirit will host a "Two Lives, One Heart" educational session via Zoom on November 5, 2021, from noon to 1 p.m. The session is designed to inform the public on the relevant issues surrounding poverty and its impact on the most vulnerable.
The session will include representatives from Pals N Pets and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), as well as the courageous heroes featured in the corresponding short film documenting unsheltered animals and their companions.
This event is free and open to the public. Anyone may register here to receive the Zoom link.
"Our aim is to provide critical supplies and to spur dialogue on the issue of homelessness for humans and animals alike," Bagamane said. "Kits and outreach open the door to learning and education, creating a closed-loop solution for short and long-term impact. Please join us."
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The Giving Spirit was founded in 1999 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based on two fundamental principles. First, to provide survival assistance to the Los Angeles homeless community in the form of robust survival kits while personally serving homeless lives wherever they reside while engaging the homeless by actively listening and learning about their specific stories and challenges facing them, thus humanizing their plight. Secondly, and just as important, The Giving Spirit educates individuals and communities about the human face of homelessness. Through professionally curated content and moderated dialogue, The Giving Spirit uses fact-based learning to overcome stereotypes and objectification as barriers to long-term solutions. Since its inception, The Giving Spirit has served over 87,000 homeless lives with the help of over 21,000 volunteers. For more information, please visit http://www.thegivingspirit.org.