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ma Cares: A Look into 2015

2014 was a jam packed year for ma Cares and 2015 has an even fuller schedule! This week, we sat down with Katie Taylor, ma Cares Project Manager, to find out more about what the New Year holds for ma Cares! Read on to find out how ma Cares plans to contribute to the local community and beyond!

2014 was an amazing year with so many great projects! What was your favorite project from last year?

My favorite project from 2014 was our fall party at Pathways Center, a facility that provides temporary housing to homeless families.  We collected winter coats for the residents and delivered them in conjunction with a game night.  It was great to see the children’s faces light up when they saw their new coats and the looks of relief from parents who knew they had one less thing to worry about.

Do you have any surprises or changes for us in 2015?

Yes!  Expanding upon our support for kids in need, this year we are partnering with BackPack Beginnings to provide comfort backpacks to homeless children.  These age and gender specific backpacks include a stuffed animal, blanket, book, toy, socks, school supplies, and hygiene products.  Through this program we hope to provide comfort and items to call their own to children who’re struggling to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings.  The cost to sponsor a backpack for a child is only $15 each.

Additionally, we have grown our Faith Cares program, which currently covers the cost of veterinary care, grooming, food, and supplies for the service dogs of veterans and provides “Patriot Packs” to encourage servicemen and women through our partnership with the USO of NC.  Now we will offer more assistance to our veterans by covering the cost of further training for their service dogs

What are some of the main goals and concentrations that ma Cares has for the New Year?

Last year we increased our support for homeless families by providing them monthly donations of food.  Food insecurity, especially among children, is a concern across the nation and we plan to conduct food drives throughout the year to help combat hunger in our community.

This year we also plan to continue our Red Dog Relief by ma Cares program, which covers the cost of veterinary care for homeless animals who have been sick or injured, thereby increasing their chance of finding forever homes.

We are definitely excited about our new partnership with BackPack Beginnings and look forward to continuing to support our nation’s heroes through our Faith Cares program!

What are you most looking forward to on the ma Cares schedule for the New Year?

I’m most looking forward to MAWC and MAIC, where we have the chance to meet many UnFranchise Owners who so generously support all of these great efforts!  The ma Cares team looks forward to seeing everyone in Miami and Greensboro and we hope you will stop by our booth!

Katie, you are so involved with ma Cares and the amazing things that this organization does for the community! Tell us, why are you a part of this amazing experience?

What is most rewarding to me is meeting so many great people – our supporters and volunteers in the community and those at Market America, as well as those we assist (both human and four-legged) through our many charitable efforts.  

We’re so glad that Katie took the time to talk with us! We are beyond excited about the New Year and everything that Market AmericaSHOP.COM and ma Cares are planning! To learn more about what ma Cares has planned for 2015 visit www.maCares.org! Make sure that you follow ma Cares on Facebook and @macares on Twitter for daily updates on exciting news and events!

More about ma Cares:
ma Cares exists to celebrate and improve the quality of life for children, families, veterans and animals. It all began in the hearts of a few Market America employees more than a decade ago.  They believed in the “power of people” and have been making a positive impact in the Piedmont Triad community since 1998.  Desiring to have a greater impact and increase community participation, ma Cares established its 501c3 status in 2012.  Since then we have been able to raise funds to support meaningful causes within our community, thanks to support from businesses and individuals.

Have questions or suggestions on what else ma Cares has to offer? Comment below and let us know!

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Melissa Paniagua

Melissa Paniagua