With tomorrow as "Giving Tuesday," you might be interested in an update about the Ukrainian animal rescue organization that caught our eye. Last year around Thanksgiving, we had just seen the most amazing behavior from dogs in Ukraine lining up patiently for their turn at a food station. It was profound image.
The food station had been set up by Nate Mook, the former CEO of the non-profit World Central Kitchen started by Chef Andres, and a few early volunteers. Nate firmly believes in diving in and doing the work without delay, and then creating a way for people worldwide to support it. Some in our fantastic community of clients did just that.
We recently caught up with Nate, who shared that they are now a bona fide foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) called Hachiko UA Foundation. Their core volunteers service 120 feeding stations, with an extended network in 236 cities in six regions, and an even broader network of more than a thousand home shelters and recipients. Add to all that thousands of medical treatments.
Now that's a lot of work to get done in a year -- coordinating, getting the resources, building teams and networks, etc. -- particularly in the middle of a war. Nate even gave us a sneak peak of the website they're working on, saying, "We haven’t yet fully launched it, but the website is here: https://hachikoua.com/."
From the many photos on the new HachikoUA.com website, a couple really cute ones caught our eye. Apparently the profound image from last year wasn't an absolute one-off; apparently Ukrainian dogs will line up like polite society and wait their turn for dinner:
Some cats, on the other hand, are trying to use their smarts and independence. Notice the gray one by the orange stripe at the top, as if to say, "I know they pour it from this corner here." And a couple cats below watch as if they agree that's the spot:
We're really proud of our community for the support provided so far. When we spoke to Nate, he asked us to pass along a message, saying, “Please be sure to thank them for me! As you can tell from our feeding stations (functional but not fancy), we’re stretching every dollar. Right now we’re scrambling to create kennels for the winter that are also functional but not fancy. We’re super grateful to anyone who wants to be part of it, and help fund this work.”
At Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital, we tend toward the most direct, boots-on-the-ground kinds of emergency response that clearly stretches every dollar and squeezes every penny. We're gratified to watch it grow from last year as a powerful idea turned nascent initiative, into an operation true to its roots and still squeezing every penny. If you're looking for a worthy candidate for your "Giving Tuesday," we submit Hachiko UA Foundation for your consideration.