Homeward Bound hosted its first Christmas in July event on July 25th. We raised nearly $5,000 for homeless pets in Camden County. Over 1500 members of the South Jersey community showed up. They ate, shopped, played games, and purchased raffle tickets. And, of course, they had their picture taken with Santa. He was a big hit, sporting his Bermuda shorts at the shelter’s first-ever Christmas in July celebration.
A success on all counts, the event was the brainchild of two local volunteers, Jennifer Rivera and Lindsey Corosanite. “We knew the local community would be supportive of this type of fundraiser and adoption event. We approached the shelter because we see every day the need for the work they do. Then we got to work on securing raffle basket items and vendors. We were so pleased with the number of people who said ‘yes’ on our first ask. It shows how committed our neighbors are to saving the lives of abandoned and stray pets here in our community,” said Rivera.
Corosanite and Rivera spend their normal volunteer hours trapping stray cats and bringing them to Homeward Bound to be spayed/neutered. Their efforts intend to help curb the cat population, which this time of year is in overdrive. “Taking time out of our routine was refreshing. Seeing how many businesses in the County were willing to join our crazy plan, that was golden. And we are so grateful that they saw our vision.” The two committed volunteers were able to feature 72 raffle baskets/items.
“Homeward Bound is seeing an enormous and concerning influx of animals this summer. At one point, I believe we had over 300 cats and 100 dogs in the building in need of homes. For our volunteers to feel the stretch and step up to do something to raise the needed funds to provide all that is needed to prepare animals for adoption, things like spay/neuter and vaccinations, is so inspiring,” said Jill Rawlins, Executive Director. “Working with the community is so important to Homeward Bound. This collaboration with Jenn and Lindsey was a total success due in great part to their dedication to the animals. We are so thankful to have volunteers like them on our team.”
In addition to being a successful fundraiser, Christmas in July brought people to the shelter. Many of those who attended went home with their new fur-ever best friend. In turn, this made room for new animals that will fill their empty cages, in essence saving two lives.
Check out the official press release here.