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Edgewater Program Helps Feed Pets Of Residents In Need, Upcoming Event To Raise Crucial Funds

When area residents fall on hard times, it is a issue could effect a whole family. In many instances, that family includes beloved pets that help keep the spirits of their humans on track to overcome.

Care For Real at 5339 N Sheridan has been providing food to those people in need for years. Through interviews with many of their clients, the organization found that they often skipped their own meals in order to feed their loving pets.

So Care For Real‘s Executive Director, Lyle Allen teamed up with Bark Bark club‘s Patti Colandrea to help solve the problem. This collaboration sparked a program called the Pet Pantry, one of only a few in the country. On the first Thursday of each month from 3 p.m. -5 p.m., Care For Real switches from providing “human” food to distributing pet food and supplies.  

“As part of Care for Real‘s services, we interview our clients quarterly.  It allows us to stay in touch with the folks turning to us for support and, if there is a need for a new program, we are able to identify and respond to the issue,” said Allen.  “Through these interviews, we discovered that many clients, primarily seniors who live alone (but have a pet), were actually going hungry in order to feed their furry friend. That’s how the Pet Pantry was born.”

But the program has evolved to become not only a life saving food donation center, but also a social outlet. Many of the clients gather at the weekly event to find their friends and trade stories and photos about their pets.  According to Allen, a real sense of community fills Care for Real on these special days.

Annually, The Pet Panty provides over 12,000 lbs. of pet food, feeding 3,600 pets and reaching more than 1,500 households.  The majority of clients participating in the program are seniors and working families with kids under the age of 18.  They also serve a large number of disabled residents as well as a increasing number of veterans who find financial challenges after they return home from service.

To help increase needed funds to keep their unique pet pantry program functioning, Care For Real will be holding their second annual fundraiser called ‘A TAIL TO REMEMBER.’ The event will be Saturday, April 29, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Urban Pooch Training and Fitness Center at 5400 N. Dammen Ave.

There will be a live and silent auction, drinks, food and special performances by Noodles the Wonder Do. WGN’s Sean Lewis will return as the guest MC for the night. Tickets are $35 if purchased by April 15. After April 15 and on the day of the event, tickets will be $40.

Whats a party without you favorite canine friend? for $10, Fido can join in the festivities too!

As the program has grown, so has our need for financial support.  A Tail to Remember helps us ensure we are providing the very best and most impactful program possible,” Allen added. “It’s a testament to the incredible and humbling support we receive from so many of our neighbors as, together, we feed our community with care and compassion.”

To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

 


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