Carpa Nevada, Flavors of India team up for annual Carson City Pets of the Homeless fundraiser
Five years ago, Chef Don Pepe launched a holiday fundraiser to help Pets of the Homeless, a Carson City-based 501(c)3 non-profit that raises money to provide food, veterinary care and other essentials to the pets of homeless persons.
Pepe decided to start a fundraising campaign after seeing for himself how important pets were to the homeless right here in Carson City.
“I would take walks at night and see the homeless people with their pets,” he said. “I remember one time seeing a child asleep in the back of a car with her dog laying on top of her, acting as a blanket and keeping her warm.”
Pepe said he realized then how much pets meant to people with nothing else in life, but the one best friend they could count on.
And he knew he wanted to do something to help.
As it happened, Genevieve Frederick was running her national non-profit, Pets of the Homeless, out of Carson City.
Pepe approached Frederick about doing a fundraiser one day, and the rest is history.
Each holiday season since, Chef Don Pepe has donated 100 percent of the retail profits from sales of his pure Portuguese extra virgin olive oils to Pets of the Homeless, now in its 11th year of reaching homeless pets across the United States.
“Every day we see an increase of homeless callers asking for our help,” Frederick said.
And the need today is greater than ever.
“In an official U.N. letter to the U.S. written in March 2019, more than 7,400 families are evicted in the U.S. every day, resulting in the eviction of millions ever year,” she said. “Rents in the U.S. increased by 22 percent on average between 2006 and 2014, while average incomes decreased by six percent.”
Frederick said many homeless people are faced with dilemmas when searching for shelter.
“When you have a pet, the choices get complicated,” she said. “A roof over your head at a shelter where pets are not allowed and relinquish the pet to an animal shelter, or sleep in your vehicle or on the street with your pet.”
Beginning Dec. 1, 2019 and running through Feb. 29, 2020, Chef Don Pepe is partnering with Flavors of India to host his fifth annual Pets of the Homeless Carson City Fundraiser.
Proceeds from the purchase of any of the chef’s olive oils, aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, and Portuguese sardines during the fundraising period will benefit Pets of the Homeless.
Chef Don Pepe’s company, Carpa Nevada, LLC, is a retail supplier of the world’s finest pure extra virgin olive oil direct from Portugal, where premium olives are grown and harvested, and their exquisite oils are pressed and bottled the old-fashioned way using centuries-old techniques.
To participate, simply walk into Flavors of India, located at 1105 South Carson Street in Carson City, and select from the products on display there.
Or, go to chefdonpepe.com and the proceeds from online purchases will also go to Pets of the Homeless.
Free delivery is available throughout Carson City and the surrounding areas of the Carson Valley, Dayton, Washoe Valley, Reno and Sparks.
This December marks the second anniversary of Flavors of India, and owner Dolly Kaur is proud to be partnering with Carpa Nevada and Chef Don Pepe to offer this charitable support to the community.
Frederick said having local businesses like Flavors of India and Carpa Nevada on board with Pets of the Homeless is a vital part of providing for the critical needs of homeless pets nationwide.
“Since we do not receive government funding, we rely on public support to deliver services to pets that belong to the homeless, pet food and emergency veterinary care,” she said.
The five-year relationship her non-profit has had with Chef Don Pepe has proven invaluable to the charity.
“Chef Don Pepe has generously donated hundreds of dollars from the sales of his famous and healthy olive oils,” she said. “His compassion for the homeless and their pets is evident when he is seen cruising Carson City looking specifically for homeless.”
The chef’s philanthropy isn’t limited to just the fundraiser, Frederick said.
“He gives them food and sometimes shelter,” she said. “Those with pets are closest to his heart and he always tells them to contact Pets of the Homeless if they need pet food or veterinary care. He is one of a kind.”
Since it became a federally-registered national non-profit in 2008, Pets of the Homeless has established 227 donation sites across the United States, collecting more than 670 tons of pet food and paying for the veterinary care of more than 21,000 pets.
Nearly $1.4 million has also been donated for veterinary care, food and crates for homeless pets.
According to petsofthehomeless.org, about one in 10 homeless persons has a pet. In some places, that rate climbs as high as one in four.
To help Pets of the Homeless achieve its goal of caring for homeless pets here in Carson City and around the country, join in the fundraiser at Flavors of India in Carson City through February 2020.
Be sure to stay a while and savor Flavors of India’s authentic Northern Indian cuisine, too. Join in the restaurant’s second anniversary celebration by helping out a great cause with local, home-grown roots.