Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward

A Passion for Paws: Digital Services Teams Up to Support Animals

When you work 40-plus hours a week with your coworkers, it’s a bonus if you have something in common. Luckily, that’s the case for Bell’s digital services team. They share a love for four-legged friends.

"The main reason we did animal causes is because a lot of us have pets of our own." - Daniel

“A lot of times animals can be overlooked,” says manager Stephanie Sailer. “There’s so many needs and they can do so many beneficial things that it’s always just been close to my heart to benefit animals.”

While in the past they’ve used their Pay It Forward funds to support animal causes, the team – which includes Stephanie, Daniel Luhman, Tony Vogel, Megan Hilkey, Tony Smith and Justin Twogood – decided to expand their reach and raise money in their own time.

“The main reason we did animal causes is because a lot of us have pets of our own,” explains Daniel, digital services specialist. “I have a pug, Stephanie has cats and Tony has bunnies and Justin has a dog, too, so everybody loves their animals.”

Joining forces to support Homeward Animal Shelter, they participated in a fundraiser and the 28th Annual PAWS WALK in July 2018 at Rheault Farms in Fargo.

To raise money, the group created an online team and, for the entire month prior to the event, each team member sought donations from friends and family. In the end, they raised a grand total of $619. All proceeds went directly to the shelter animals, providing them with food, safe shelter and veterinary care while they await their forever homes and loving caretakers.

“We definitely rely on the community to keep our doors open,” says Heather Klefstad of Homeward Animal Shelter. “Donations like this help us take care of the animals – to provide them with everything they need before they go home.”

Then, in early August, the shelter surprised the team by bringing a second-place fundraising plaque and Barney to Center Bank for a visit, bringing a whole new meaning to the dog days of summer. The 90-pound Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd was happy to meet new friends and share slobbers of love.

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