Kitestring's 10 Hearts - 10 Years - 10 Months - 10 Hearts

Celebrating Kitestring’s 10th Anniversary

When we embraced the idea of the 10 Hearts idea in celebration of Kitestring’s 10 years, we were excited about how each Kitestringer would approach the challenge. We always like to know the ‘whys’ of things, digging into what motivates decisions. Human nature is our best teacher. Part psychology/part Nancy Drew-Hardy Boys, we love learning more about…everything. We thought you might, too. Here goes.

Natasha Szostak

Natasha Szostak, Communications Strategist, 1 year and 4 months.

Natasha's Initiative - SPCA

Give a brief overview of the project/initiative you chose.

National Cupcake Day is an annual fundraiser in support of SPCAs and Humane Societies. The concept is simple (bake a cupcake, sell a cupcake), but the impact that these donations can have in the life of a shelter animal is huge. Through an office bake sale and online donations, we raised a total of $516 for the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA! To put that into perspective, that money can microchip 15 pets or buy 50 toys for shelter animals waiting for their forever homes. Pretty sweet, huh?

Why did you choose your project?

As a lover of dogs and all things sweet, National Cupcake Day was a perfect fit for me! I even had the chance to tour the Hamilton-Burlington SPCA to see first-hand how the funds we raised would benefit the animals at the shelter as well as their compassionate caretakers.

What would people be surprised to learn about your initiative?

The HBSPCA relies completely on donations and could not exist without community support. It’s the unconventional items on the shelter’s wishlist that might surprise you: Post-it notes, paper towels, Scotch Tape, and even toilet paper. We can’t forget about supporting the staff and volunteers that help these animals have a second chance!

What did you learn by having this be your part of the 10 Hearts Celebration?

A lot of people support their local shelters by donating food. While this is very generous, the shelter may not be able to use it if their animals are already used to eating a certain brand of food. After all, it’s not a good idea to drastically switch an animal’s food. In those cases, the HBSPCA actually donates the extra food to a food bank. As a result, through the generosity of others, the food collected can help pet owners that are having financial difficulties.

What have you learned most about your community in the 10 years Kitestring has been open?

Hamilton is one of the strongest and most resilient cities there is.

What have you learned about yourself while being part of Kitestring?

I’m definitely on the quieter side, so taking the lead on this project took me out of my comfort zone. With the support of my fellow Kitestringers, I learned that by expressing my passions and rallying people around a cause I cared about, we could achieve great things together as a team.

Final thoughts?

Calling all online shoppers! The HBSPCA now has an Amazon wishlist. Pick your gift and change the address so your donation goes straight to the shelter. You spend time on your couch online shopping anyway (at least I do). Why not use your savvy shopping skills for a good cause?