Area residents doing some last-minute holiday shopping are encouraged to remember animals at local shelters this year by participating in the Kibble for Kritters program.
The Baymont Inn & Suites at 2905 Riverwatch Drive has been participating in the program for the past six years. The hotel is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone wanting to make a donation.
According to Kim Gibbons, sales and marketing manager at Best Western Evans and Baymont Inn & Suites/Augusta Riverwatch, the program was started following an argument between her and her sister.
“The idea for Kibble for Kritters came about in the fall of 2008 as two adult sisters argued via telephone and e-mail about Christmas presents,” the sisters chronicle on their Web site – kibbleforkritters.com. “It was agreed that the money would be put to better use if donated to an animal rescue organization.”
The idea, a take-off on the Toys for Tots program, blossomed into Kibble for Kritters, the brainchild of the younger sibling, a cat fancier and the sales and marketing manager of Best Western Evans Hotel.
“We vary the partners a little bit, but Baymont Inn & Suites is always a part of the program,” said Gibbons. “Cat and dog food goes to area rescues and cash donations go toward rescue vet bills.”
Gibbons said hotel guests, as well as community members, often donate cash to the Kibble for Kritters program; some drop off gift cards which are used to purchase dog and cat food.
Annual donations through the program have helped the rescues and volunteers defray costs of feeding the animals.
“As far as goals, we appreciate whatever we can get,” said Gibbons, noting that donations have continued to decrease over the past few years. “We are trying to get creative and think out of the box in so far as ways to help the rescues and humane societies.”
Recently, Baymont Inn & Suites was recognized by Rubbermaid Commercial Products for its participation in the Kibble for Kritters program. Both the hotel and the CSRA Humane Society were gifted with janitorial supplies.
“It’s really been a lot of fun to do it every year,” said Gibbons.
She said she and her sister still argue over Christmas presents and they continue to donate to Kibble for Kritters and area rescues.
People interested in participating in the program have through the end of the year to make donations. Disbursement of supplies will begin just after the holidays, with the CSRA Humane Society, the Columbia County Humane Society and two local rescues receiving items.