Meals on Wheels Rowan’s August is for AniMEALS raises over $40,000 for pets and seniors

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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – “August is for AniMEALs” is a month-long campaign and collaboration with local businesses to collect pet food and donations to support the Meals on Wheels Rowan AniMEALs Program. After raising a record-breaking $17,560 in 2021, Meals on Wheels Rowan partnered with Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary to share the proceeds and pet food.

AniMEALS Chairwoman, Kimberly Hardiman said, “we were blown away by the support we received last year during August is for AniMEALs. When we started planning this year’s August is for AniMEALs, I wanted to go big with our goal and we also wanted to bring in Faithful Friends to benefit even more animals.” Hardiman has served as the August is for AniMEALS Chairwoman since 2019. Hardiman recruited Debbie Barnhardt of Barnhardt Jewelers and Lorna Medinger of Hughes Plumbing Supply to assist in organizing the month-long event.

This year, Hardiman set out to raise $20,000 in donations for pets and two tons of pet food. Alexandra Fisher, Meals on Wheels Rowan Fund Development and Marketing Manager announced, “Kimberly’s mantra is ‘go big or go home,’ and Kimberly went big. Meals on Wheels and Faithful Friends raised $30,108.5 for pets and $10,833 for human meals, for a total of $40,941.50!”

“The success of August is for AniMEALS the past two years has helped grow our AniMEALS Program. In addition to delivering pet food along with meals, we now have funding to provide wellness checks, vaccines, grooming, and basic veterinary services for the pets of our meal recipients,” said Cindy Fink, Meals on Wheels Rowan Executive Director.

Faithful Friends Director, Mary Padavick said, “we were so excited to be included in August is for AniMEALs this year. The donations we received throughout the month will provide veterinary care for the cats and dogs living at the Sanctuary while they await adoption. We take all breeds and ages of cats and dogs, many with health conditions and medical concerns that require veterinary care, medication, or special pet food.”

Hardiman added, “we are grateful to all those who donated. On top of the monetary donations, we collected over 1.5 tons of pet food. We want to thank all of the local businesses that served as drop-off sites for pet food donations. Several sites offered prize drawings for those who donated at their locations. Debbie Barnhardt of Barnhardt Jewelers and I did a prize drawing for a paw print pendant and necklace. Dr. James K. Jolly, DDS, West Rowan Farm and Garden, and Lazy 5 did giveaways as well. A lot of creativity and planning goes into this month, and we are grateful for all who make it happen.”

This year’s drop-off sites were Barnhardt Jewelers, Hughes Plumbing Supply, Dr. James K. Jolly, DDS, Lazy 5 Animal Hospital, Stitchin’ Post, West Rowan Home and Garden, and Rowan Animal Clinic.

“We are just thrilled at how well this collaboration has turned out. We loved hosting Fuzzy Buddies Fun Day at the Sanctuary this year and are amazed at the generosity of our community for pets and seniors in our community. We know how important pets are and we appreciate the support Meals on Wheels provides to their clients and their pets,” said Marcia Parrott, Faithful Friends Board President.

Fink said, “pet companions are incredibly beneficial to the emotional well-being of homebound seniors. Thanks to our donors, sponsors, and other supporters, we can provide our meal participants with the resources and veterinary care their beloved pets need to remain healthy and fed.”

Fisher added, “the support our seniors and their pets receive during August is for AniMEALS always blows us away. Thank you to Kimberly Hardiman and the rest of the AniMEALS planning team who made August is for AniMEALS a successful event. “

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