Hometown Habitat News

Lake County charities gear up to ‘double their money’ during Mount Dora Community Trust’s Giving Week

Karen LeHeup-Smith, a volunteer with LEASH, Inc., says it happens all too often that families surrender their pets to the shelter or, worse, have the animals euthanized when veterinary bills become too much.

Lake County-based LEASH offers financial support to shelters, animal rescues and partners with other organizations to assist private individuals to help with a pet’s veterinary care.

“Since 2015, we have spent more than $140,000 to assist with veterinary care, heartworm treatment, microchipping and spay and neuter procedures in partnership with local shelters, animal rescues and for clients of our partner veterinarians. This includes a trap-neuter-release program for feral cats managed by the Lake County Animal Shelter,” said LeHeup-Smith. “We rely on donations and grants to sustain our services. While we have little overhead in our volunteer-run organization, the demand for these animal procedures keeps growing.”

LeHeup-Smith says LEASH volunteers are prepping to reach out to community donors during the Mount Dora Community Trust’s second annual Giving Week donation drive, November 30 – December 7, and potentially earn thousands of dollars in matching funds for the organization.

“Twenty-eight Lake County charities, ranging from very large to grassroots, have a chance to earn their share of $85,000 that the Mount Dora Community Trust will provide in matching funds,” said Rob English, Executive Director of the Mount Dora Community Trust. “We will offer a dollar-for-dollar match to all participants until the first $10,000 is donated. After reaching that $10,000 milestone, the organizations will compete for additional matching dollars based three winning levels.”

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Donations will be accepted online beginning at 9 a.m. on November 30 at https://mountdoracommunitytrust.com/givingweek. Cash or checks made out to Mount Dora Community Trust, with a memo of the donor’s chosen organization, must be received by mail or dropped off at 821 North Donnelly Street, in Mount Dora by 4 p.m. December 7.