Dogs bring joy to our lives every day. From playing fetch in the park to cuddling on the couch, these furry friends are members of the family. That’s why it’s so unbelievable that over 2 million puppies* are bred in puppy mills each year.

“Leo’s Helping Paws is a wonderful organization. It’s not a major corporate entity with lots of overhead. Dollar for dollar that we raise goes directly to helping the dogs.” – Joanne Pursel, Volunteer for Leo’s Helping Paws

Since 2014, Leo’s Helping Paws has been lending a helping paw to puppy mills and animal shelters on the East Coast. In this spirit, we are extending our own paw (or hand in this case) to their organization of volunteers by offering a $500 order of promotional products for free through Give Your Brand a Hand.

A little background about Give Your Brand a Hand: This giveaway is for any non-profit or small business that makes less than $1 million in revenue a year and has fewer than 50 employees. Like Leo’s Helping Paws, it’s a grassroots effort designed to bring a bit of marketing assistance to the organizations that need it most.

The Barking Bank

Wouldn’t it be great if every non-profit had a place to turn for funding? Sure, community 5Ks and bake sales are one thing, but when it comes to day-to-day expenses and other marketing endeavors, oftentimes volunteers and organizers are footing those bills.

Leo’s Helping Paws breaks this mold as a self-described “bank” for animal shelters and puppy mills in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. The organization was started by two women after they adopted Leo, a rescue Corgi from a puppy mill. Leo had all kinds of physical and emotional trauma and needed a lot of help. Fast forward to 2018 and Leo’s Helping Paws has helped cover the medical expenses of over 200 dogs. One little Corgi made a giant step for dogkind.

Any non-profit, as long as it’s volunteer-ran without any paid staff, can reach out to Leo’s Helping Paws and request a grant to cover veterinarian and food costs, as well as receive additional supplies like leashes, bowls, toys, and treats. Think of it like a Puppy Pay Pal. The organization is making all the difference when it comes to adequate funding for non-profits just like them.

Paws in the Park

Like any non-profit, Leo’s Helping Paws relies on fundraising to keep the organization running. Their biggest event is the Paws in the Park Dog Festival. Dogs and their owners come by for a day of fun, complete with costume contests, vendors, and fun activities like the Milkbone Challenge, a race that involves humans walking with milkbones on a spoon, that once dropped, can’t be eaten by the dog or the human gets disqualified. It’s a game that’s always a huge hit with participants, resulting in laughs and barks of delight.

Co-chair Joanne Pursel and her best friend Kathy Styer have been hosting Paws in the Park for the last two years, spending money from their own pockets to rent Lititz Springs Park in Lititz, Pennsylvania.

That’s why small donations, like our bulldog drawstring bags, make all the difference in the world. Leo’s Helping Paws gave these bags to early registrants, filled to the brim with fun extras like coupons, small knickknacks, t-shirts, and gift cards. The bags that were left over were sold directly at the event. At the end of the day, the people there appreciated getting a fun giveaway that had as much personality as their tail-waggers.

“Dog owners can use their bags not only for our event, but for the future when they’re out walking their dogs. People tend to pay attention to things that are looking at them. – Joanne

The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to organizations like Leo’s Helping Paws is they’re often ran by people with regular nine-to-five jobs. These organizations are born from a passion to help and make a difference, and the volunteers put in hard work to keep them running. Any small donation can make a huge difference, which is why we were extremely proud at Quality Logo Products® to do our part with fun branded drawstring bags.

Are you a non-profit like Leo’s Helping Paws looking for a marketing boost? Enter your organization for a chance at free promotional products by filling out our form at www.giveyourbrandahand.com.

*Source:  The Puppy Mill Project, an advocacy group in Chicago, Illinois.

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.