Contact: Mary Lee Anderson
703-836-4414, ext. 111
Funding Will Assist Efforts to Keep Alexandria City Seniors and Their Pets Together
to Facilitate Aging in Place
Alexandria, Virginia – August 10, 2021 – Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) is proud to announce that it has received a $12,500 Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant for its pet support program, AniMeals on Wheels. Funding will be used to provide expanded access to needed veterinary care, grooming services, and other support as needed for the pets of Meals on Wheels and current AniMeals clients, which can often be a financial and physical challenge for older adults to manage on their own. The AniMeals program is a collaboration between SSA and the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA).
“Senior Services of Alexandria is pleased to have received this grant that will provide monies for expanded care for the pets of current Meals on Wheels and AniMeals clients, said Mary Lee Anderson, SSA’s Executive Director. SSA will collaborate with its AniMeals partner, The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, to provide expanded services for clients’ pets including veterinary care, grooming services and more. Ensuring that Meals on Wheels clients’ pets continue to stay healthy is one step toward combatting loneliness.”
“For years, we’ve been glad to help beloved pets stay with their owners, working alongside Senior Services of Alexandria through the AniMeals component of Meals on Wheels,” said Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Executive Director Stella Hanly. “This grant will allow us to extend those efforts to keep pets happy and healthy, and address the kinds of crises that might otherwise lead our clients to surrender a cherished friend.”
Funding for this grant was made possible through a partnership between Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities as part of Meals on Wheels America’s strategic effort to combat social isolation and loneliness among seniors across the country. This year, Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities awarded $601,538 in grants to 79 local Meals on Wheels programs through the Meals on Wheels Loves Pets initiative. One in four seniors lives alone and, for many of them their pet is their closest companion; this funding helps to ensure they can live happy, healthy lives together.
“Having the company of a pet not only makes homebound seniors feel less lonely but also improves their physical and mental well-being, helping them to stay happier, healthier and more independent. Yet, nearly half of the clients receiving pet assistance from Meals on Wheels don’t have anyone else to help them with their pet needs,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander. “That’s why we’re so appreciative of our growing partnership with PetSmart Charities – it makes it possible for us to continue to invest Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grants in local Meals on Wheels programs, like Senior Services of Alexandria and the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, to provide critical supplies, care and assistance for pets of seniors.
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ABOUT SENIOR SERVICES OF ALEXANDRIA
Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) provides services and programs that help foster independence and self-sufficiency, enabling older adults within the City of Alexandria to age with dignity. SSA was selected by the Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the best non-profits in the Washington, DC area. To learn more about SSA’s programs go to www.seniorservicesalex.org.
ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA
Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
ABOUT PETSMART CHARITIES®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 600,000 shelter pets each year. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $450 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 17 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.
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