Groupon just helped raise over $US323,000 to supply bullet-and-stab protective vests to police dogs, through its Vested Interest fundraising campaign.
Through the campaign, Groupon users donated $US10 (or more) each to Vested Interest K9s Inc., a Massachusetts organisation that supplies protective heart to law-enforcement K9 units. All together, the funds will buy about 340 vests, which cost $US950.
Sandy Marcal, one of the founders of Vested Interest, says that she has been working as an independent volunteer to protect police dogs since 2000. She told Business Insider that she’s extremely excited about the number of vests this campaign has helped provide and the canines that it will save. In January 2014 alone, four American police dogs were killed in the line of duty. Most units don’t have the funding to provide vests for all of their animals.
“In addition being such a great benefit to the community as an officer with four legs, a police dog is also an important part of a police officer’s family,” she says. “He’s a working dog, but he’s also a beloved family member. The police officers have vests and the dogs should have vests too.”
This campaign, which ended yesterday, was the most successful fundraise that Groupon has ever seen through Grassroots, its platform for discovering and funding social causes (causes are first featured on a local level, then regional, state, and finally national, depending on their success).
Groupon launched the program in spring of 2012. Since, it has raised more that $US7 million across more than 1,400 campaigns.
You can find more info about Vested Interest K9 Inc. here.