How Their Work with Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue is Making A Difference
Ashley Anderson of Verity Homes
Julie Schirado of Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue
While most companies are in the business of making a profit, some prefer to go the extra mile for those around them. Verity Homes is proud to say that they’re also in the business of giving back to their community. This year, Verity Homes is supporting Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue, a nonprofit animal rescue founded in 2015. I sat down with Ashley Anderson and Julie Schirado of Verity Homes and Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue to learn more about the work they’re doing together, what each group represents and what’s coming to the Bis-Man area!
A Look Inside Verity Homes
Verity Homes is a home builder in Bismarck and Fargo dedicated to creating refreshing and affordable homes that people love living in. The company has grown immensely over the years and has made an impact on the Bismarck-Mandan and Fargo-Moorhead communities. Since the founding of Verity Homes, the team has always been community-oriented and determined to support the area in any way they can. Through doing so, they’ve made a recognizable impact year after year in the Bis-Man community.
“At the beginning of the year, we establish the organization charities that we want to give back to, and how we’re going to do that. In the last six years, we’ve done a charity house every year. It starts at the beginning of the year with collaboratively planning the house or project that we’re going to build and getting our trades and suppliers on board to donate time and materials. We then put a marketing plan in place to get the word out about the charity projects or houses that we’re doing that year,” Anderson said
While they tend to have one primary project that’s focused on each year, Verity Homes is welcoming of any other projects that may come their way in which they can be of service to those in need.
“We’re also open to any impromptu charity events, donations and projects. Just recently, we jumped on board and sponsored a charity event hosted by the organization Carrie’s Kids. We try to plan large and specific ways to give back, but we also like to keep our ears open for other opportunities to help,” Anderson said.
Oftentimes, they will work with a selection of various trades and suppliers, based out of both Fargo and Bismarck markets.
“When we do large charity projects, we reach out to all of our suppliers ahead of the project being built, let them know what we’re doing with this charity project and what they can do to help. The last one that we completed had a number of trades and suppliers that donated including KLJ for sites, Bowers Excavating, Concrete Structures for our concrete work, French Street Millwork, who supplied a lot of our material, Midwest Doors, B&B roofing and many more. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Anderson said.
“At Furry Friends, we’re truly a bunch of volunteers. Every little bit of help that we get from people in the community goes a long way for us, as well as the animals that we’re helping along the way-Julie Schirado
A Look Inside Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue
Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue is a nonprofit animal rescue organization that was founded by a group of Bismarck Animal Impound volunteers. As a completely volunteer-run organization, Furry Friends runs on the spirit, passion and efforts of those backing the cause. The rescue was founded to alleviate overcrowding and unnecessary euthanization within the impound.
Since launching, Furry Friends has branched out to take in survivors and other animals found in dangerous situations. When people hear that a nonprofit organization is making or raising money, some can be wary of where that money is going. Julie Schirado, one of the key members of Furry Friends, is proud to say that 100% of the proceeds are going towards essential aspects of keeping the organization alive and improving. “I’ve had a lot of people ask me or question where the money is going exactly sometimes. We’re always appreciative of any donations that come our way as we’re always in need. The money goes back to our veterinarians, the food we buy for the animals, the baskets that we gather for raffles, which are purchased right here within the community, and so on,” Schirado said.
The Exciting Upcoming Collaboration
Verity Homes and Furry Friends first got in touch with one another through Verity Homes looking to expand their community-based efforts. In recent years, Verity Homes completed charity projects for a national organization called Homes for Hope. Wanting to take those national efforts and assist local organizations, they noticed that Furry Friends was in need of assistance.
“We’re all animal lovers, so it was a no-brainer for us that we really wanted to shift it back to helping local animal organizations. That’s when we got connected to help out Furry Friends and other local organizations,” Anderson said.
With the area nearby rapidly expanding, Verity Homes is taking advantage of that through the construction of 23 different shop condos with 6 varying styles to select from. At the time of writing, construction has begun and they are expecting the condos to make significant progress by next spring.
“Ideally, we want people to purchase their shop condo before it’s even started. They can come in and we’ll show them our six different layout options. From there, they select their location on the site plan and we work with them on building out their interior. We suggest to them how they could build them out, but it’s all up to them how they want to make it their own,” Anderson said.
“The shop condos will have a monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) fee. We take that money and give it to Furry Friends to help pay for their yearly taxes and specials. That way, they won’t have to worry about that expense every year and they can concentrate on doing what they need to do. We’re not having that fee to make money; we’re doing it because we want to benefit the community and Furry Friends.”
As the Verity Homes and Furry Friends collaboration moves forward, the two are working on the architectural plans behind the Furry Friends project. The design consists of a three-phase structure that aims to house animals, as well as have a veterinary clinic and cafe on-site that serves coffee, beer and wine.
“We’ll also have a room with a couch, chair, television and small fridge so they can sit and spend time with their animals. We’ll have high-end security systems there around the whole perimeter, so we’re pretty excited about that. We also worked diligently writing a $60,000 grant with the Abused Adult Resource Center, so we want to be putting in as much work as we can on our end of this as well,” Schirado said.
“Working with Verity Homes is the key to our future right now because that land is going to allow us to house more dogs, as well as our mobile veterinary unit in the winter. We’re also hoping that above the dog unit part we have an indoor walkway for the winter to walk our animals. Many volunteers are retired that help us and we don’t want anyone to fall on the ice and hurt themselves. Lastly, we’re looking to find a couple of veterinarians that we can have on-site, as that’s going to cut down costs tremendously.”
Did You Know?
Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue’s vet bills average between $20,000 and $30,000 per month for the animals, according to Schirado. This is where the majority of donations are going when assisting their mission!
How to Support Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue
While Verity Homes is giving Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue immense, much-deserved assistance in the development of their new property, Furry Friends is always looking for more support from the community. Whether it be financial donations or volunteering, they seldom shy away from help from those that want to get involved.
“When people come to me and ask how they can help, I ask them why they want to do it and how they see themselves helping. I always tell them to find what they’re passionate about or find what they’re good at and channel it towards animals. If you want to stay home with your own animals, we always appreciate people making phone calls and writing letters. If your forte is fundraising, we can always use help with that. We have close to 300 animals now, so we could use all the help that we can get,” Schirado said.
“Furry Friends is doing amazing work for the community, and we think their facility in Lakewood will be a great addition to the Mandan community. In just the last few years, we’ve really seen Mandan make a conscious effort to bring projects like this to the area. We’ve seen exponential residential growth within Mandan, as well as commercial, and Mandan has done a great job of bringing that to the community.”-Ashley Anderson
While the project is a landmark effort being made for the nonprofit, the impact being made goes beyond the animals in Furry Friends’ focus. When Furry Friends has extra money to spare, Schirado stated that it’s going towards food at low-income housing, the soup kitchen as well as people that can’t afford to pay their veterinary bills.
“To me, Verity Homes understands that they’re helping animals but they’re also helping the people behind the animals. When we go into the reservations, we bring food, clothing for the children, we vaccinate their animals and we go door to door and ask what they need. We hope that we’re helping a wide range of people on the back end too and making a real difference,” Schirado said.
While work is well underway for the collaborative project between Verity Homes and Furry Friends, Verity Homes is always looking for ways to get more involved in the communities they’re proud to be a part of. Whether the project is large or small, they’re up for a challenge that will better the community in the long term.
“When we do these projects, it’s strictly for the organizations and the benefit of the community. I think that a lot of people look at our marketing or announcements for these types of projects and just assume that we must be getting something out of doing this, but it truly is just for the organizations,” Anderson said.
Stay tuned for more updates on the project, as well as any upcoming projects and charity events on their social media platforms below.
Support Furry Friends Rockin Rescue
Email: [email protected]
YouTube: Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue