The groundbreaking for Harbor House’s new Facility containing the In-Kind Donation Center and the Paws for Peace Kennel was held at the 2nd Annual Paws for Peace Walk on Saturday, Nov. 5th, at Blue Jacket Park.
Harbor House announced they have been awarded a grant by Dr. Phillips Charities to assist with the construction of the In-kind Donation Center as part of the overall project. The donation center will allow survivors entering the Harbor House emergency shelter to bring valuables with them, making them more comfortable with entering shelter. It will also ensure Harbor House is able to accept more donations such as perishable food, construction materials, cleaning supplies, etc. and will cut expenses for these items. Dr. Phillips Charities has awarded the funds in the form of a Challenge grant to the community, matching the value of every in-kind or cash donation made to the project up to the amount awarded.
A canine ambassador from SeaWorld participated in the groundbreaking ceremonies on behalf of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. The company generously donated $20,000, the first matching corporate donation received by Harbor House for the project.
“We’re proud to help build Harbor House’s new kennel that will help domestic abuse victims stay with their family pets and provide the animals safe harbor as well,” said Jennifer Dirscherl, corporate director of community relations for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Our company has a passion for supporting families in need as well as rescuing animals, and this extraordinary program speaks to both of these important causes.”
Also participating in the groundbreaking was Orange County Animal Services, who awarded Harbor House a $50,000 grant and has been instrumental in garnering awareness for the kennel project. In honor of their gift and their continued support, the kennel’s official name is the “Paws for Peace Kennel” supported by Orange County Animal Services. “We are thrilled to see the results of our successful partnership showcased in this momentous occasion,” said Dil Luther, Division Manager of Orange County Animal Services.
National statistics show 48% of domestic violence survivors delay leaving a violent home because they do not have a safe place to go with their pets. Check out our video to learn more about why our kennel is so important.
“This new facility will be a critical tool in breaking down barriers that keep survivors of domestic abuse trapped. The donation center will help us save thousands of dollars every year and allow us to take valuable donations that we would not have able to otherwise. Keeping the entire family together with the kennel will help survivors heal. We are excited to see the community response so we can make this dream a reality for Central Florida,” said Carol Wick, CEO of Harbor House of Central Florida.