Hi Brad, for those that don't know can you tell us what GAWDS is exactly?
We're a Canadian/international non-profit social benefit organization grounded in deep ecology; and dedicated to bringing the world's animal and ecological causes together for a massive coordinated global effort. There are thousands upon thousands of disparate groups worldwide that don't talk to each other – we aim to change that.
We're also creating innovative new tool sets and making them available for free to the public which allows people to harness cutting edge technology like web, mobile, SMS to interact with valuable causes anywhere on the globe and also to empower every person with a cellphone to become a citizen journalist or activist and share important information with the world instantly. We're changing the game for good.
Specifically, our facets include an inspired blend of new global movement; research projects; interactive social activism; professional services provider; global members' community activism site; and the world’s largest growing database of animal welfare and conservation activism and awareness resources.
One of our most feel-good projects is searching for people helping animals who may need professional support such as website design, IT help, graphics, logistical support, etc. I get very attached to these projects and become personally invested in their success. I'm working with an awesome small animal rescue in Brazil right now who were struggling to rebuild after the horrible floods outside Rio that killed so many. They lost everything and have had a really tough time. I quite like them; they're great people trying their best so I stepped up to build them a kick-ass website and help them reach more people around the world while sharing their heartwarming stories about the animals they rescue.
Is there a story or moment that contributed to the creation of GAWDS?
My life is a series of many events leading to this organization but there are several more relevant stories that people may resonate with on a personal level. The brutal killing of the Whistler sled dogs after the close of the Vancouver Winter Olympics ignited such an outrage that I couldn’t focus on anything else; I knew I was going in the right direction when I started creating this group from scratch.
The other defining moment was nothing short of divine intervention. I'm a devout atheist so this is also nothing short of a profound universal miracle. A few days before Christmas in 2010 I was walking home from the gym on a rainy Vancouver night and blindly walked past a homeless man and his small dog. I didn't make it even to the intersection before I was hit by something many would call a holy experience.
I went home immediately, found my mountaineering backpack, went across the street to the grocery store and promptly filled it up with deli sandwiches, dog food, nutritious energy snacks, bottled water and Tim Horton's coffee gift cards. I spent the next four hours, sitting in the rain talking to every homeless person I could find. Just to let them know someone cared, that someone had seen them, and that they weren't alone. I didn't go home until my pack was empty. It was the best thing I've ever done in my life.
It wasn't long after that I began selling off all my assets and given away the rest to various charities. I knew my adventure had nothing to do with belongings and being a good little consumer. That's really the beginning of this chapter of my life.
As an individual how can I get involved and support?
Our social media sites are a great place to learn what we stand for and start interacting with us and other supporters around the world. For those who would like to get more involved our global community site for members, volunteers and our animal group contacts is quickly becoming a fun new way to interact with good animal causes and share viral content online.
What if I want to do more?
If supporting our rapidly growing global community isn't enough; there's always room for more volunteers and coordinated activists. Sign up to volunteer through our community site and someone will be in touch. Or, our soon to be launched mobile app will put you in direct touch with us and all of the world's best animal, ecological and conservation groups and causes.
Tell you what, any of your supporters that join up I'll make them an exclusive MissEcoGlam profile badge upgrade. ;-)
More about GAWDS:
What are the chances that you might lose a loved pet? Gawds has recently helped spread awareness to find missing “Gadget”, a beloved pet who was rescued from an animal testing laboratory. With their help Gadget was safely found and reunited with his grateful owners! They also are working on mapping out all of the world’s animal rescues and shelters and an amazing FREE global pets lost and found service via mobile.
Photo: Long lost Gadget reunited with his owners at last.
Are you a vegan or conscious food consumer? Gawds has a goal to source all of the worlds vegan resources: restaurants, shops, farmers markets etc.
What’s more, subscribe to their facebook feed and you’ll have access to fundraisers you can support, important conservation and revealing articles and interviews, heartwarming stories and “awww” worthy photos guaranteed to cheer you up on your bleariest of days.
There you have it, the easiest way to support animals WORLDWIDE but it needs YOU to help share with others. What are you waiting for? Connect with GAWDS right now and you will have a wealth of animal friendly resources and information at your fingertips. You never know when you might one day personally need their help.
Connect with GAWDS:
World Map: http://www.labs.globalanimalwelfare.org/
Community site: http://community.globalanimalwelfare.org/