Struggling charities need our help

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With continued rising interest rates, inflation and pressures associated with the increased cost of living, more and more Aussies are turning to struggling charities for support across a range of services, putting added pressure on those that already can’t keep up with community demands.

That’s why throughout June, The Petstock Foundation,  the charity arm of the Petstock Group, will again be hosting its national Home Town Heroes initiative which aims to raise awareness and financial support to assist over 40 grassroots partner organisations in helping their local communities Australia-wide, with links back to our beloved pets.

While you can make a donation to the Foundation in-store or online all year round, with 100% of funds raised going directly to struggling charities, you can specifically help the Home Town Heroes charities throughout June, by rounding up purchases, or by buying a helping heart for $2, $4, or $6 at Petstock stores nationwide or by donating online.

Be sure to watch the embedded video to see first hand some of the great work one of their Home Town Heroes charities, Pets of the Homeless, does thanks to the support of the Foundation (formerly known as Petstock Assist) when I joined them on their pet food drive to the Father Bob Maguire Foundation.

Operations Lead for the Petstock Foundation, Sherralea Cassidy, says many not-for-profits are experiencing increases in the demand for their services across the board, yet there’s been a significant decrease in terms of financial donations and volunteer time to keep grassroots struggling charities afloat in recent months.

Donations are dwindling and smaller enterprises are at risk of becoming overburdened as people prioritise their spending, which in turn is impacting local communities reliant on ongoing financial support, volunteer programs and resourcing help,” she says.

A study reporting on the not-for-profit sector in Australia revealed the industry remains under considerable financial pressure. The report uncovered that profitability has continued to decline, with about 50 per cent of organisations making a loss or only breaking even, indicating many struggling charities have a bleak future.

The Home Town Heroes initiative aims to raise over $100,000 for its charity partners most in need, through a dedicated donation program with the help of animal lovers across the country who are able to spare some change.

In addition to Petstock’s pledge of $50,000, proceeds raised next month will financially benefit these community-driven organisations, enabling them to continue to focus on the very important on-the-ground work they do to provide the best outcomes and responses to their individual community needs,” says Sherralea.

While research from Mccrindle research group maintains charitable giving has traditionally remained strong in Australia compared to other countries, their most recent data suggests nearly one in five Australians do not give at all.  And it is with no surprise industry experts are predicting a rise in these figures in the short-term as economic hardships and challenges continue in 2023.

So in these challenging times, donations to grassroots charities are more important than ever. Every act of kindness makes a significant difference to the wonderful work they do by providing financial assistance to continue running their specialised services – such as educational programs, safe shelter, companion animal management care, food, product, veterinary care and other community support.

Whether you choose to purchase a helping heart or kindly donate a gold coin at the counter – every little bit counts in helping our partner charities empower a better future for people and pets most in need in their local communities,” says Sherralea.

The Petstock Foundation’s Home Town Heroes initiative will be supporting charities nationally, including the following key partners: 

Peggy’s Promise (NSW)

Smart Pups Assistance Dogs (QLD)

Youth up Front (NSW)

 Safe Pets Safe Families (SA)

Sydney Dogs & Cats Home (NSW)

Perth Rescue Angels (WA)

Pets of The Homeless (VIC)

HorsePower (WA)

K.I.D.S. Foundation (VIC) – Whisker Woods Sanctuary (ACT)

Riding for the Disabled (TAS)

A Safe Place for Meow (NT)


Source 1: The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Not-for-Profit Governance & Performance Study 2022-2023


About the Author: Lara Shannon is a certified dog behaviourist and trainer, pet food nutrition specialist, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara also runs her own dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area and is the Author of World of Dogs and Eat, Play, Love Your Dog

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