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Pet Valu joins social impact project to recognize Transgender Awareness Week

Pet Valu and The Don’t You Want Me Project are collaborating to promote the impact rescue dogs have had on members of the LGBTQ+ community. Pictured is DYWM founder Jack Jackson and his rescue dog.
Pet Valu and The Don’t You Want Me Project are collaborating to promote the impact rescue dogs have had on members of the LGBTQ+ community. Pictured is DYWM founder Jack Jackson and his rescue dog.

In celebration of Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-20), The Don’t You Want Me Project (DYWM) and Pet Valu are bringing DYWM’s social impact project, which couples images and personal narratives of LGBTQ+ people and the transformative impact their rescue dogs have on them.

The two organizations are inviting members of the LGBTQ+ community to apply to sit for a photo session and share their story when the project visits their community.

“The bond between queer people and their rescue dogs and the stories and personal growth that spring from that non-judgemental, loving bond form the backbone of DYWM,” said co-founder Jack Jackson, who is transgender. “To date half of the participants in the project are non-binary or trans. Thanks to Pet Valu’s support, I’m able to gather more stories of transformation, grow DYWM, and bring these much-needed voices to the wider public when I travel with the project across Canada.”

The cross-Canada tour will begin in Barrie, Ont. in February, then travel to Vancouver and Halifax in March, Calgary in April, Winnipeg in May, and conclude in Toronto in June. In each city, the project will be displayed in a Pet Valu store. The public is invited to visit the store, view the exhibit, and speak with Jackson who will be on site. Admission is free, although those who wish can donate online to DYWM.

At each stop on tour, Jackson will interview, photograph, and film new local participants for the project. Individuals who identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community and have rescued a dog and have experienced first-hand how their dog changed their life are encouraged to apply to participate. Jackson will be using the three months before the tour begins to secure participants in all cities and establish relationships and build trust with them so they are comfortable sharing their story when they meet on tour.

“The Pet Valu family of stores is delighted to have the opportunity to bring DYWM to Canadians from coast to coast,” says Tanbir Grover, chief marketing and digital officer, Pet Valu. “The project will make you cry, smile, and understand, and we encourage everyone to come see it when it arrives in their community.”

 

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