Daniel, an Iraq combat veteran from the US, had been unable to attend his sons’ sporting events for more than 10 years because of the anxiety he experienced in crowds. Life was very difficult for Daniel – until he was introduced to a rescue dog named Bear. Dogs can help veterans considerably with their depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms; and Daniel can now enjoy watching his sons score touchdowns at their football games because of Bear.
Daniel is one of many veterans suffering from PTSD who Pets for Vets has helped by pairing them with professionally trained emotional support animals. As part of its corporate social responsibility programme, Equatex chose Pets for Vets as its charity partner for the NASPP conference, which took place in October in Houston, TX, USA. Equatex has a strong commitment to the communities it works in and wanted to partner with a charity that contributes to the local community where the conference took place.
“Equatex focuses not only on the sustainability side of social responsibility, but also the human impact and the people we interact with,” explains US Business Development Manager Julia Tensfeldt. “The unique partnership with Pets for Vets came out of our discussions around how to marry the conferences we attend with our social responsibility.”
Attendees at the conference were asked to drop off their business cards at Equatex’s booth and for each business card received, Equatex increased its donation to Pets for Vets. As well as raising the profile of the work Pets for Vets Houston does to help veterans and save the lives of dogs, the conference raised money that will help support more veterans like Daniel.
“Spreading information throughout the community, not just about our organisation, but about the plight of many veterans and the amazing healing effect that dogs can have, is a very important component of what we do,” explains Jan Potts at Pets for Vets Houston. “This conference, and Equatex’s efforts, reached an audience that Pets for Vets would otherwise not have had access to. Whether attendees visited the booth to get information about Equatex or to get information about Pets for Vets, they got both. It was definitely a win-win.”
Pets for Vets really resonated with people at the conference and it was fantastic to be able to work with a charity that touches peoples’ lives.
It was the first time that Equatex sponsored a charity at an event, and both Jan and Julia say that the collaboration was a great success. “Equatex contacted us well in advance of the conference to plan and execute,” says Jan. “We appreciated having time to prepare, because so often individuals or groups contact us at the last minute with expectations we can’t meet in a very limited time-frame. The planning and follow-through exhibited by Equatex was impressive.”
Julia adds: “Jan took time out of her day to visit the booth and she was so supportive throughout the whole process. Pets for Vets really resonated with people at the conference and it was fantastic to be able to work with a charity that touches peoples’ lives. We’re now looking forward to working with more partners in the future.”