11 Ways to Support Shelter to Soldier #GivingTuesdayNOW

April 29, 2020

11 ways you can support homeless dogs and veterans in need on #GivingTuesdayNow

On Tuesday, May 5, the world will come together to GIVE. Giving Tuesday is a global day of philanthropy celebrated every year in the Fall. Inspired by the urgent need that many nonprofits currently face with a declined giving climate in the wake of COVID-19, the critical need of support programs for our most vulnerable, and the ongoing dedication of these programs to those in need, the Giving Tuesday team has created #GivingTuesdayNow dedicated to programs and initiatives that are making a difference, today and every day.

Shelter to Soldier continues to adopt dogs from local shelters and rescue organizations and our team is still hard at work in training sessions with our service dog trainees every day. Every day, we answer the call for many veterans who have hit rock bottom. They are looking for a light amidst the darkness and have found hope in our program. Our psychiatric service dogs provide nonjudgmental support to post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from the perils of mental injury associated with traumatic service experiences. They gave everything to support us. It’s our turn to give back to them.

Our service dogs agree. They stand by eager to work to attenuate symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), like hypervigilance, sleep disturbances, insomnia, memory loss, anxiety, and depression, among others. Our trainees are task trained to provide both physical and emotional support to their veteran handlers.

Shelter to Soldier has 21 service dogs in training and we are currently working to adopt 4 more for our program. According to one of our veteran graduates, Adam Cunningham, USMC,

Bash has been life-changing. After having gone through major life events, I can say with certainty that having Bash has been a major life event. With Bash, I have gone out a lot more – A LOT MORE. San Diego Gulls games (as the Military Hero of the Game!), Shelter to Soldier social events, Lake Arrowhead with friends, and yes, I do buy my own groceries at the store again. While there is still anxiety and depression, I can say that I have not had suicidal ideations. I feel I’ve been able to cope better with Bash supporting me. I am still working on reducing years of habits formed due to trauma, but I’m taking all the small victories with Bash and getting some steam behind me to look back and see the whole picture of a larger victory.”

Our mission at Shelter to Soldier continues and we need your support! Here are 11 ways you can make a difference for the lives saved by our program:

  1. Share our mission. Tell your friends and family on social media about the work we do. Wear your STS apparel and talk to someone new about how Shelter to Soldier is “Saving Lives, Two at a Time.” Snap a pic of you and your beloved pup and tell your friends you support @SheltertoSoldier!
  2. Send Cards. Veterans in general are particularly vulnerable during this time of uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19. Let them know you have their back. Send cards to our veteran students and graduates with encouraging words! Read about our Success Stories (teams) and teams in training to personalize them, or just send general notes of kindness!

Shelter to Soldier

2665 Fourth Ave.

San Diego, CA 92103

  1. Gift an item from our pup’s Wish List. You know that smile your pup gives you when you offer him a treat or her favorite bone? You can create that same smile on the faces of our service dog trainees by shopping on Amazon for items on our wish list and sending them to our facility:

Shelter to Soldier

2909 San Luis Rey Rd.

Oceanside, CA

92058

  1. Make us your charity of choice and shop Amazon Smile for all of your Amazon needs. Speaking of Amazon, did you know that you can shop utilizing all of Amazon’s amazing features on amazonsmile.com? Amazon Smile will donate a purchase of every sale (you ever make!) to your charity of choice. Simply click on the “supporting” tab under the search bar on Amazon Smile, or click the link above, and choose Shelter to Soldier as your charity!
  2. Wine and Doggy ‘Poo Shampoo. You’ve been safer-at-home with your pup for a weeks now, it’s time for a bath for your pooch! UNITE’s Doggy ‘Poo and Leave-In Conditioner is the most luscious blend of dog shampoo and conditioner formulated to keep your dog healthy, happy and oh so soft, PLUS proceeds benefit our program at Shelter to Soldier! Order some delicious One Hope wines where 10% of your purchase will be donated to our program, now through May 12!
  1. Color! And get the kids in on the fun, too. Download our Shelter to Soldier color sheet here and then post it on social media to share your artwork! @ShelterToSoldier This is a great way to get your kiddos involved in this powerful day of giving and explain the importance of giving back to their communities. Even while they are happy at home, they can feel like they’re contributing to positive change in the lives of homeless dogs and veterans who need their support. For more on how kids can get engaged in giving back through our program, read our blog post on Blue Star Sponsor Kids!
  2. Become a fundraiser. COVID-19 has brought challenges to everyone around the globe. Our program is no exception. Donations have dramatically slowed during this time, yet our work continues. Our program relies on donations to continue rescuing dogs and serving veterans. Becoming a fundraiser helps both share our mission and provide life-saving funds to our program. It’s as easy as adding a “donate” button on your Instagram story, creating a fundraiser on Facebook, or create a custom email to your friends and family and share our online donation link.
  3. Get some STS Swag. We have some fun apparel, water bottles, accessories, and even a 64 oz growler on our Shop for a Cause site – check it out! Your purchase of these Shelter to Soldier branded items raises funds for our program.
  4. Pledge a monthly gift. There is huge power in numbers. For as little as $5 a month, you can be a lifesaver by contributing to a sustainable source of support for our program every month. These are funds we know we can count on to run our operation and its associated costs monthly. If we all come together, we can do great things!
  5. Donate an item in-kind to our auction. Our fundraising events are huge contributors to our life saving work. They not only create awareness for animal rescue and veteran suicide, but they also generate much needed funds to keep us operational. Guests of our 8th Annual Gala (scheduled for August 22, 2020) love exciting auction items and the funds raised from them make a real difference for the dogs and veterans who need our program. If you know of or own a business that would like to contribute an item or package, please let us know! Email kyrie@sheltertosoldier.org for more details.
  6. Become a Sponsor. Have the ability to increase your gift and want to learn more? Our Red Star Sponsorship program provides the funds needed to sponsor one dog from the day of adoption, through our 12-18 month training program, to their ultimate graduation with their veteran handler. You’ll get to name the dog, receive updates on your sponsored dog’s training progress, be notified when your dog is matched with a veteran for handler training, and receive a special invitation to their graduation ceremony at the end of their program. Our White Star Sponsorship provides critical funds that support all veteran applicants, students and graduates with peer-to-peer counseling, access to services with our mental health liaison and direct support from our team throughout their journey through our program.

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