How Wishbones for Pets got started
Wishbones for Pets is a charitable program designed for pet sitters to collect and distribute pet goods/funds to local pet shelters and other pet related agencies in their own community. The program was established in October, 2004 by Janet Depathy of Under My Wings Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. The program runs each year during the six weeks prior to Thanksgiving.
In order to commemorate ten years of pet sitting services, Janet wanted to give something back to the community. In just six weeks she collected over $1,000.00 worth of donated goods and $300 cash from residents, local businesses and her pet sitting clients. All of the proceeds went to the Friends of the Plymouth Pound, a local animal shelter. This event not only gave Janet a sense of community pride, it helped a local shelter and it gave her the publicity and media attention she could never buy. She received local media coverage including radio, newspaper, Chamber of Commerce, and internet listings. As a result of the tremendous amount of support and positive feedback, she decided to expand the Wishbones for Pets program concept onto a larger-scale platform.
Janet believes if ONE single universal name was used by pet sitters for this type of annual community event (Wishbones for Pets) it would be easier for the public to associate Thanksgiving as a “pet project.” People would join together and donate to the charity the pet sitter organizing the event had selected. The Wishbones for Pets program also provides many business benefits for all involved. It offers a huge marketing opportunity for pet sitters that would like to collect pet goods/funds for their local pet shelters in their own community. It brings people into business establishments that agree to be a drop off sponsor and offers pet lovers an opportunity to donate items.
Suggestions or ideas for pet sitters with physical limitations that wish to offer another means to secure donations and run this campaign are welcome!
What are the business benefits?
- Publicity for the individual pet sitting service
- A public awareness of this industry
- Publicity for the sponsors
- Retail traffic and potential sales increases for the drop off stations/sponsors
- Community responsibility showcased
- A charity receives the needed donations
How does the pet sitter benefit?
This program enables pet sitters to significantly increase its public profile by informing the community of the fundraiser for a pet related charity and brings an awareness of their own services. Without this type of marketing, the community might not otherwise learn what is offered without the pet sitter having to incur significant expenses associated with media advertising.
Initial ideas for promoting will include a list of targeted participants, offering promotional items, placing alternative advertising throughout targeted areas, radio/television announcements, assembling volunteers to assist in weekly pick-ups, developing co-sponsorships, and much more.
All pet sitters participating in the program are free to use the Wishbones for Pets logo on their literature and/or website as well as a link to the official Wishbones for Pets website displaying information about the sponsor. The advertising exposure for everyone involved is enormous!
If you are a pet sitter and would like to be a part of this new and exciting project and want more information it is strongly suggested you join the WBFP Yahoo Group for all the behind the scenes chatter.