A Free Ride for Charity

Helping StraysAt MetroGistics, we pride ourselves on being a community-minded and charitable company. Our Metro Giving Back program lets one employee each month select a charity to receive a $500 check from the company. Since its inception, we’ve presented checks to about 70 different nonprofit organizations.

Since 2012, our annual Monster Mash fundraiser has raised more than $95,000 for Helping Strays – The Humane Society of Monroe County and other animal-related charities. In addition to monetary contributions, we have also provided in-kind services to this worthy organization.

Helping Strays is a nonprofit based in Columbia, Illinois, not too far from our home base of St. Louis.  The organization promotes responsible pet ownership, and its goals are to help prevent animal cruelty, and place abandoned, adoptable, healthy pets in loving new homes. Every year, it rescues more than 300 dogs and cats.

Helping Strays was founded by a handful of volunteers rescuing and fostering dogs and cats in their homes, and transporting the animals around in personal vehicles. As the organization grew, so did its transportation needs. At one point, it was able to able to scrape together enough funds to purchase an old rusted-out ambulance to transport dogs and cats to adoption events. Unfortunately, the ambulance had a tendency to break down, often leaving the volunteers and animals stranded.

“It was becoming less safe to drive and not a dependable or safe way to get the animals to and from adoption events,” said Kevin Hutchinson, a volunteer with Helping Strays.

Supporters rose to the occasion at a dinner fundraiser last year and answered Helping Strays’ prayers by digging deep into their pockets and contributing enough funds to purchase a vehicle. However, the new Ford cargo van still needed cages for safe transport, which presented a dilemma – how to get it from Columbia to Warsaw, Indiana, where the cages would be installed.

Kevin reached out to Jeremy Cope, our executive vice president of global operations, for assistance. Jeremy, in turn, worked with Alycia Lamartina, our operations manager, to get all the appropriate pickup and drop-off details. MetroGistics is coordinating free transportation of the van to Warsaw for retrofitting.

“Once again our prayers were answered,” Kevin wrote in an email message. “Thank you, MetroGistics.”

You’re welcome, Kevin. And thanks to the staff, volunteers and board members of Helping Strays for all they do. If you’d like to make a donation to Helping Strays, visit http://helpingstrays.org/give.