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COMMUNITY · May 13th, 2021

NVA Cares: Providing Hope After Tragedy

by Karen Beals

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

NVA Cares was created out of a community desire to help others during those unanticipated and unavoidable emergencies. This program was especially important after the devastating freeze hit Texas in mid-February and severely impacted many NVA employees, including South Park Animal Hospital’s Veterinary Technician, Hannah Williams.

During the ice storm, the apartment above Hannah’s caught fire. As the fire department put out the blaze, it also caused her apartment to flood. “Everything that wasn’t already taken by smoke or fire was ruined.”

Thankfully no one, including Hannah’s dog Scout, was hurt, but she did lose most of her clothes, furniture, and kitchen appliances. 

Melissa Cleveland, the Practice Manager at South Park Animal Hospital in Austin, Texas, immediately jumped in to help Hannah during this tough time. She not only helped start a GoFundMe campaign for her, but she also urged her to apply for the NVA Cares Foundation grant. 

Through contributions from NVA and community members, NVA Cares can provide immediate short-term financial relief to staff affected by a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, tornado, or hurricane. Applicants are asked to apply here and share more about the vital personal expenses incurred, or anticipated, as a result of the natural disaster. NVA employees can then receive up to $500 for expenses not covered by insurance. 

Hannah sent in her NVA Cares application and within seven business days, she found out that it was approved. She said she was able to use the grant money to help her put down a deposit on a new apartment. “Being able to sign a lease on a warm and safe place gave me hope in such a dark time.  

As a Veterinary Technician, Hannah dedicates her days to caring for pets. “As anxious as I am about my own dog’s health, it fulfills me knowing that I’m able to support other owners who trust us to care for their pets. It’s just as comforting knowing that she has a team, and a community, thats there to support and care for her when she needs it the most.   

The NVA Cares program provided Hannah with short-term relief during a stressful time in her life. She said she’s thankful that she can now channel that energy to loving her dog, Scout, and caring for other animals. “This is just the beginning of my journey and I’m excited to see where this amazing career will lead me.  

The NVA Cares program helped four other people during the 2021 Texas freeze, and with the new system in place this year, it will help even more team members. If youd like to make a one-time contribution to the NVA Cares Foundation, you can do so on this GoFundMe pageSupport Center staff can also donate via payroll deduction for one-time or recurring contributions. If you have any additional questions, please email NVACares@nva.com.  

Karen Beals

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Support Center | Chicago, IL

Karen Beals is a member of NVA’s Community Team where she supports our community by contributing to the well-being of animals and people.  She and her husband, Jack, are relocating back to the Chicago area from Ventura, California to help her sister care for her aging parents.  While she is thrilled to be back with family, she is not too excited about the subzero winter temperatures and believes this could be payback for all the times she retorted to her family “it’s sunny and 70 in California.”  Their beloved yellow lab, Bailey, will be joining them.  Bailey has yet to figure out that she isn’t a lap dog.

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