This year, Shake It Up crowned our first ever Pet Ambassador, Lola, as part of Paws 4 Parkinson’s. The Pet Ambassador idea was created in collaboration with the Poke Initiative, a collective of volunteer students from Sydney University who assist not-for-profits with their social media.
Today, we are celebrating Lola and hearing more from her human friend and owner, Taylor about why Parkinson’s is important to them.
Tell us a bit more about Lola!
Lola is a 4 year old beagle who joined my family in 2017. She enjoys morning naps in the sun, playing with children and doing her afternoon zoomies up and down the yard. She’s polite, gentle and friendly when meeting new friends (human and animal) however over the years I’ve learnt not to leave socks, puzzles, tea towels or TV remotes within her reach! Lola is very proud to be the first Shake It Up Pet Ambassador and looks forward to promoting fundraising for research.
What drives your commitment to a cure for Parkinson’s?
My grandmother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008. Since then I have been a support for her in the way she is challenged. But one day I realised there’s more that I could do for her and others that are diagnosed with it. Yes, I can hold her hand while she walks from A to B, help cut up her food so it’s in portions that she can handle chewing, or take her to the bathroom. I think for me, seeing my Nan deteriorate broke my heart and I ultimately felt helpless. For the most part, holding her hands and dancing with her and seeing the smile on her face drove me to commit to raising money for something that could potentially help her and know that I was doing something that supported such an incredible woman.
What did you do to shake things up in April?
In the month of April I decided to shake things up by setting two goals: no alcohol for the month and raise $500 towards Parkinson’s research. I’m incredibly proud to say that I achieved these and surpassed my fundraising goal with a total of $1000 donated to the cause. I also submitted an entry into the Shake It Up Pet Ambassador competition which my beautiful beagle Lola was successful in winning!
What advice do you have for others looking for fundraise and make a difference?
I think I approached fundraising to make a difference in a few different ways. I set myself, what I thought would be, an achievable and reasonable goal. Setting yourself up with a strong support network can also help in staying on track and remembering the reasons you’re doing it. Finally, promoting your progress on social media platforms regularly.