Sam & Kate
Meet Sam and Kate. They run The Kia Foundation, Central New York’s only mobile pet food pantry/pet food bank. The foundation is named for Sam’s childhood dog Kia; when she was sixteen, Kia’s veterinary and medical bills became too burdensome for Sam’s family to afford, and they had no choice but to put her down. Sam vowed to spare other families the pain of losing cherished pets and founded the Kia Foundation in 2011.
In 2018, Sam’s fiancé Kate helped him incorporate the Kia Foundation as a 501 (c) 3, with a mission of helping animals in crisis by providing owners what they need to care for their cherished companions. The couple - with a big assist from Sam’s children, ages 6 to 16 - run monthly pet food and supply giveaways throughout the Syracuse region, mitigating situations of animals in crisis by providing low-income homeowners with the basics they need.
The Kia Foundation also provides Central New York’s only at-home pet meal delivery membership service, whereby homebound, low income, veteran, and disabled dog and cat owners receive pet food and supplies.
In 2019, Sam wrote and self-published a children’s book called “A Story About A Dog Named Kia,” inspired by his childhood canine pal. All proceeds from the book, which is the first in a series Sam plans to write, go to supporting the work of The Kia Foundation.
The beauty of the Kia Foundation is in its simplicity and impact: from his own childhood experience, Sam recognized an underserved need, and stepped in to solve the problem so other pet owners and their pets wouldn’t have to suffer.
Says Kate, “Sometimes life can be challenging, and it leaves people wondering where to turn for help, especially when it comes to helping the pets who remain dependent on us even when times are tough.” She adds, “Just because someone is going through a crisis doesn’t mean that their animals should have to suffer. With a little outside help and assistance, and maybe some education too, we can help people ride out the rough spots in their lives.”
Want to help Sam and Kate help pet owners in need? Visit http://thekiafoundation.org to make a donation and learn more; you can also purchase “A Story About A Dog Named Kia” from their site!