Fundraising For NEADS

July 3, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a crimp in fundraising for a nationally known nonprofit agency.

As a result, Bay State Savings Bank has announced a fundraising drive to support NEADS, which trains service dogs to help people who are deaf or have a physical disability. The campus is at 305 Redemption Rock Trail.

The fundraiser ends July 22.

Bay State Savings Bank recognizes many of the fundraising opportunities NEADS relies on have been impacted by COVID-19 and decided to help support the organization. Donations are tax-deductible and all funds will go towards training and placing a service dog with an individual in Massachusetts. The bank will match donations up to $3,000.

“We had a lot of community events that were planned for this time period and obviously they were not able to happen, so being in touch with different people and being out in the community … not being able to do that has been a challenge,” said Audrey Trieschman, manager of communications for NEADS.

“Our donor base has remained loyal, and bequests and grants continue to come in, but we have seen the cancellation of several spring and fall fundraising events and fewer community fundraising efforts, activities which we depend on to support our mission,” Trieschman said.

With COVID-19 came the cancellation of planned community events and fundraising opportunities. NEADS relies on these opportunities to fund training and placement of their service dogs.

“It costs us approximately $45,000 to breed, raise and train each of our dogs,” said Trieschman.

The goal for the fundraising effort is $6,000. The annual budget for the organization is nearly $3.5 million.

When the NEADS campus closed in March, it faced a number of other challenges – on-campus dogs had to find temporary homes within 24 hours, dogs had to come out of five of the seven prisons NEADS is involved with, and three new litters of puppies were born and needed care during quarantine.

Trieschman said NEADS staff is thankful for the support the organization has received from the community during this difficult time.

“We’ve had very positive community support in spite of our inability to do the community outreach,” said Trieschman. “We’re very thankful for the donors who have continued to support us.”

Bay State Savings Bank reached out to NEADS to start the fundraiser in honor of the bank’s mascot, Benjie, celebrating his first birthday.

“They’ve just gone above and beyond,” said Trieschman. “They’ve just been really great partners and I think the fact that they’re doing the $3,000 … is a really great way to get this jump-started. They’ve just been very responsive and just a real pleasure to work with.”

Trieschman says the Bay State partnership is not unique, as NEADS welcomes community partnerships, but says NEADS is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the bank.

“We have loved working with them to get this setup and we’re really looking forward to continuing to work with them,” Trieschman said.

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