110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Apr 10, 2013 - 9:39:11am
In 2009, a few weeks after Gram's Kitchen opened at its new location on South Volusia Avenue in Orange City, a small jar was placed on the counter. That jar has done great things.
The money dropped in the collection jar goes to HELP Animals, and in three years has amounted to more than $1,200. The animal organization wanted to let the patrons and staff of Gram's know how much they are appreciated, and to shine a light on the tremendous good a few quarters here, and a dollar there, have done.
"All of this money has gone toward medicine at our shot clinics," said Nancy Wachter, president. "We want to thank the patrons and the staff. They've done a lot of good."
HELP Animals stands for health, educated, love and protect, and has more than a dozen steady volunteers.
"You won't find a better group," Wachter said.
The group has four main outreaches: low-cost shots, a spay and neuter program, health care for service animals, and providing animal oxygen masks to emergency personnel.
The outreaches are all sponsored by the community through fundraisers such as yard sales, and the simple donation jar on the counter at Grams.
When the change in the jar reaches $20, Rhonda Hogue, GRams staff member, gives the agency a call for a pick up.
"When she gives me $20, that covers four or five shots — four shots, we have to buy the needles," Wachter said.
HELP Animals provides low-cost shots to an average of 75-100 animals monthly. It's outfitted Volusia County with animal oxygen masks, and it also resells the masks for the same price it receives to municipalities all over the world.
Treasurer Cheryl Crozier said the group has sent at-cost masks to 49 states, and overseas to Iraq, Costa Rica, and Canada.
"We provide the masks for free to our county, but we ask that other areas pay the $55 it costs us to buy them," she said.
The group has sent more than 10,000 masks, which are made to conform to any animal's snout if it needs oxygen.
"It'll fit a snake, or a big dog, a small dog, a rabbit," said volunteer Betty Neurotch.
On its website the group has video of the masks in use. Donations can be earmarked for any of the programs H.E.L.P. Animals sponsors. All money goes directly to programming.
"We're not a rescue group," Wachter said. "Which allows us to do more for animals, and to help out groups who do animal rescues."
For more information, visit helpanimalsinc.org
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