What began as a small student fundraiser has grown into a county-wide effort to support the Gibson County Animal Shelter of Indiana in any way, shape or form. Amway Independent Business Owner Jarrod Beck became involved with the shelter more than 10 years ago and has continued to support the animals with his wife, Tara Beck, through organizing and running fundraisers and educating the public about the benefits of adopting pets from animal shelters. They have both served on the shelter’s Board for the past six years.
A former high school math teacher, Jarrod combined his love for animals with his students’ plea for bonus points in conducting a food drive for the shelter. 10 years later the tradition continues and now takes place in three other schools. “I originally did it as a gesture for the shelter but quickly realized that it was also a great teaching point for my students on how to be a philanthropist,” says Jarrod. “One year, a little boy was saving change all year long and brought in a big pretzel jar of change. It ended up being over $150, and he was an elementary student.”
The year following the first food drive, Jarrod expanded the collection to include items such as leashes, toys, blankets and pre-paid gas cards. Through this annual collection, enough money and supplies are collected to cover the shelter’s expenses for three months.
Although Jarrod is no longer a math teacher, he is still involved in the school fundraiser as well as others, which he and his wife, Tara, help organize. “Once we became members of the Board … We saw how the finances are tied to the euthanasia rate. We decided we had to do something to help raise money to help keep those animals in the shelter just a little longer to possibly find their forever home,” explains Jarrod.
Throughout the year Jarrod and Tara run several events, including car shows, two-hour-long Zumbathons, and cookouts at local grocery stores, to help support the shelter. Their fourth car show will take place this upcoming Father’s Day. “From April to June we are usually out in businesses looking for donations and sponsors … It is worth it to know that the one-day event provides for the shelter for a month,” says Jarrod. “There are so many people who help us. A lot of little things add up.”
The shelter currently houses about 40 cats and 35 dogs, while Jarrod and Tara house 16 animals of their own, including six that came from animal shelters and four horses.
“There are so many great animals out there,” shares Jarrod. “Our goals are to be a limited-kill shelter and to get as many animals out the door as possible.”
For more inspiration about things you can do in your community, visit www.amway.net.
IBOs, volunteer week — on July 18, 2012 1:40 pm