When the Angola, Ind. Meijer team voted on the finalists for their Meijer Team Gives donation this year, the overwhelming consensus was to donate their entire $10,000 check to the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County.
The Humane Shelter is an open-admission animal shelter, which means that they accept any cat or dog brought to the shelter by a Steuben County resident, help care for its needs and secure it a good forever home. To provide these services, they rely on donations and grants to care for more than 2,000 animals every year.
Meijer Team Gives is our annual program that empowers our store and distribution facility team members to support nonprofits meaningful to them in their own communities. Our teams have donated $6 million to hundreds of local organizations since the program’s introduction in 2021.
Typically, Meijer Team Gives donations take place in December, however just weeks after the team made their decision, an urgent need arose. About 80 animals living in poor conditions in Steuben County needed a new home, immediately.
In response, the shelter jumped in to help. And so did Angola Store Director Jacqueline Gerardot, who requested permission to move the team’s donation up by about a month to ensure the shelter had the resources it needed. The team knew the shelter’s limited budget would be stretched thin caring for all the extra animals, most of which needed immediate veterinary attention. So, while the shelter was working quickly to help find foster homes and house the animals, the Angola store team got approval to expedite their donation to be our very first one of the year.
“The shelter really exhausted their resources with such a large intake of animals who needed medical attention, so they were incredibly grateful for the extra help from Meijer,” Jacqueline said. “It was wonderful that our store team members had the opportunity to choose who they would like to support in their own community, and they were so thankful to have the opportunity to directly make an impact during a time of such need.”
“The timing couldn’t have been better,” said Adrienne Long, Executive Director of the Community Humane Shelter of Steuben County. “The Meijer donation kept a really hard situation from becoming disastrous, and we’re so very grateful for the support in our time of need.”
Of the 80 animals surrendered, the shelter took in about 25 of them, and the other 55 went directly to foster homes. However, all 80 of the animals needed immediate veterinary care, and the shelter covered all those costs, while also finding foster homes for the remainder of the cats and dogs in about 4 days.
“The community support we received was awe-inspiring,” Adrienne continued. “There were certainly some positive aspects of the situation, including the community support we received as well as the opportunity to start some important conversations about taking care of pets properly as well as the importance of spaying and neutering.”