Big Ideas: $100,000

Description

ElderDog Canada’s big idea is to set up dog food banks in communities across Canada served by ElderDog. ElderDog Canada is a national charity dedicated to supporting senior people and their dogs. Headquartered in NS and with 18 chapters (Pawds) in 8 provinces, more than 900 volunteers carry out the work of ElderDog. The no-fee work includes providing seniors in-home assistance with basic dog care (walking, transportation, etc.) so that they can enjoy canine companionship as long as possible.

30% of seniors across Canada live below the poverty line, alone without family, friends or support system. 22% of seniors have a dog–the most important thing in their life and "best friend." Daily, ElderDog volunteers encounter seniors who struggle financially to provide adequate care for their dog. They often do without necessities and depend on food banks for themselves in order to buy food for their dog. Those who do not access a food bank go without healthy food. Cereal becomes a staple; often for both dog and human.

In 2016, ElderDog was presented an opportunity from a supermarket in Halifax, NS to take regular delivery of quality dog food that could not be sold due to package damage. We rented a small storage unit and opened a food bank to provide quality dog food to seniors with dogs in the local area. Volunteers manage the storage unit and deliver the food to seniors supported by ElderDog. The small “pilot” program is a big success. We deliver thousands of kgs. of dog food each month to seniors in need. The gratitude they express for a simple act of kindness is a stark reminder of how little it takes to make a big difference in someone’s life. The significance of this project inspired the desire to set up food banks in every community/area where ElderDog has a volunteer base.

With Aviva funding, ElderDog will purchase and outfit storage containers for each of the following locations: Halifax-Dartmouth, Southwest Nova, Annapolis Valley, Central Nova, Strait Area, NS; Charlottetown, PEI; Fredericton, NB; Ottawa, Milton, Guelph, Hamilton, Collingwood, ON; Winnipeg, MB; Calgary, Edmonton, AB; Vancouver, Victoria, BC. In each community/area, we will partner with local businesses for accessible space to locate the container and for a regular supply of donated dog food. Volunteers from each ElderDog Pawd will liaise with food suppliers, advertise the food bank, and coordinate delivery to seniors in need.

The project has significant potential to contribute to the creation of more compassionate and caring communities. Volunteers work together on projects that benefit others because they want to “give back” and be involved in making a difference. From this kind of commitment develops a sense of pride, gratification, and belonging through involvement in a shared effort. Initially, the food banks will be run by current ElderDog volunteers. We anticipate, however, that the food bank project will inspire new volunteers who will become part of a group committed to individual and community well-being. The ageing demographic across Canada has created a need for communities to be more “age friendly” and to create ways of helping seniors to maintain their independence as they “age in place.” The work of ElderDog is part of this broader commitment and the food bank project is one more way that ElderDog can help seniors continue to live independently with their canine companions. In addition to a benefit of receiving food for their dog, seniors also will benefit from short visits and check-ins. Volunteers, many who are seniors themselves, speak of how important those visits are for seniors who live alone, and how much they look forward to visiting and supporting older members of their community.

Cost Breakdown
17 storage containers (8’ x 10'; rodent/weather/tamper proof) @ $5520.00 = $93,840.00
heavy duty shelving (7.5’ x 7.5’ x 2'; 2 per unit) @ $319.70 = $10,086.98
weather proof pad locks @ $29.88 = $507.96 TOTAL : $104,434.94

Broker supported
HUESTIS INSURANCE GROUP

ElderDog Canada Inc.

Location: Canada