-Elizabeth Kunzelman, Director of Public Affairs, Petland Inc.
As people around the world are struggling with the repercussions of the Coronavirus, it is more important than ever to pay it forward.
It is times like this I am reminded of Mr. Rogers. He once shared, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.”
While we often see reports of people who are taking advantage and are not helpers, there are so many that are, and we salute them.
This is a time for us all to be helpers in any way that we can. Sometimes it can be as simple as a smile or a “Thank-you.” Maybe it’s a bigger tip when you are picking up carry-out. Maybe it’s donating food or money to your local food bank. Maybe it’s a sidewalk chalk message of encouragement to neighbors, grocery store works or hospital staff.
Petland was founded with the idea of providing a clean, fun and safe place for children and families to visit to learn about pets. It was also founded with the idea that our stores are “helpers” in our communities.
You may not hear as much about what we do, but recognition isn’t our goal. We sincerely want to make a difference. From providing food to shelters and food pantries, to supporting veterans with service dogs, to fulfilling wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, we take our commitment to our children, our pets and our communities to heart.
Several Petland stores have provided much-needed support to their local food pantries in Ohio, New York and Texas with donations of dog and cat food during this uncertain time. And, one of our international franchisees sent much-needed masks and gloves to our local hospital in Southern Ohio.
In May, we will launch our 2nd annual Round Up at the Register for Heartland Canines for Veterans, a 501c3 organization that provides service dogs to military veterans.
This summer, we will initiate a fundraising campaign in honor of Make-A-Wish’s 40th anniversary and in October, we will participate in our annual St. Jude Halloween Campaign.
And year-round, we will continue to support more than 200 police K9 units and service dogs around the country.
We know this is a strange and somewhat scary time. But we will come out of this better and stronger. As we are sequestered with our families and staying safe, let’s take this time to think about how we can be helpers in our communities, not just now, but always.