“Paw It Forward” to Give Jobs to Individuals with Special Needs
The Barkers Dozen seeks crowdsourced funding to hire three special needs individuals.
Aug. 9, 2012 — CHICOPEE, Mass. — The Barkers Dozen, an organic and eco-friendly dog treat company based here, launched “Paw It Forward”, a 30-day campaign to raise $10,000 in crowdsourced funding, in efforts to give a steady paycheck and vital career skills to three special needs individuals.
If the goal is reached, the pet treat company will use the investment to hire three individuals through its partner, Aditus, Inc., an organization that provides community-based employment and other services to Intellectually Disabled Individuals.
Social responsibility and giving back to its community is central to The Barkers Dozen’s mission. It has partnered with Aditus to bake and package its treats since 2011, and currently, all treats made by The Barkers Dozen are handmade by Aditus participants.
“Seeing the joy on one employee’s face when he got to open his first bank account, or another’s excitement when she bought her favorite recliner to watch television, are experiences that I can’t even begin to explain,” said President/CEO and Founder of The Barkers Dozen, Shawn Sherry. “Now it’s up to everyone to help me make this happen for more individuals in our community who want to be out there working, if they could only be given a chance!”
With the new employees’ help, the company will also be able to create three new flavors of organic dog treats. After the Paw It Forward campaign closes, The Barkers Dozen will collaborate with Paw It Forward investors to determine the three future varieties.
In addition, those who make a pledge to support the Paw It Forward project will receive a gift based on their level of support – from 50% off any order, to a year of free organic dog treats from The Barkers Dozen.
The Barkers Dozen is managing the Paw It Forward project through Indiegogo.com, a social crowdsourcing website. The campaign runs through Sept. 9, 2012, and is accessible here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/201673?a=1021062.
Available in select pet boutiques, upscale retailers and grocery stores — as well as online through The Barkers Dozen Virtual Bakery and Online Store — the current lineup of organic pet treats includes: Barkers Family Chicken Treats, Barkers Carrot Treats, Barkers Dozen Barkscotti, Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut Butter Treats, Cookie Cakes and The Big Dipper. Also available are a variety of Sampler and Seasonal Gift Boxes, and custom-made cookie jars and gift baskets.
About The Barkers Dozen:
With the goal of providing Homemade Organic Pet Treats that everyone could afford, The Barkers Dozen was founded in 2009. In the midst of the 2008 pet food scare, company founders Shawn Sherry and Anthony Newman saw an opportunity to start an organic dog treat business where customers could feel safe and secure about what they fed to that loyal member of their family.
The Barkers Dozen treats use the highest-quality, human-grade organic ingredients and are made in a variety of shapes and sizes to satisfy any furry friend. The gourmet dog treats are made on demand and in small batches to ensure the freshest product possible for customers, without artificial preservatives. Feeling a responsibility to the world in which we all live, its packaging is renewable or recyclable.
In 2011, Sherry assumed sole ownership of The Barkers Dozen, following a year of historic growth. Later that year, continuing its belief in social responsibility, The Barkers Dozen began utilizing staff from the Aditus group, a non-profit which helps those with special needs to be able to enter the work force. In addition, The Barkers Dozen donates a portion of its profits from every sale to two animal shelters in its local market.