Giving back, paying forward

Most small businesses like mine are approached on a regular basis to donate to fundraisers for animal welfare groups and charities. Sometimes, we have relationships with these groups and other times, they’ve never done business with us and we have to ascertain whether it is within our marketing budget to donate something and also whether that group shares our values.

There are many ways besides fundraisers that businesses can give back to their community.

In my business, I offer a loyalty card. After every five sessions of massage and physical therapy, the owner earns a free bag of our dog treats. Owners have the option, however, to donate the cost of their bag to a registered animal charity of their choice, although most leave the choice up to me. I rotate the donations.

Over the years, the business has given to:

Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue

Dogwatch Sanctuary Trust

Greyhounds as Pets

Pet Refuge

….to name a few.

Last week, I also offered to give massage to Liam, the assistance dog to young Sam Ward. Sam’s story appeared in the local paper because the little boy is in the final stages of aggressive Duchenne muscular dystrophy and his family are raising funds so they can fulfill his bucket list. Rather than giving back, I consider this my time to pay it forward, thanking those who have supported the business so I can give my time to others in need.

If you would like to donate to help Sam complete his bucket list, you can donate via Givealittle.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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