TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – People and pets from all around the Wabash Valley flooded the streets of Downtown Terre Haute for Dog Days of Summer.
“Our community, we’re dog lovers!” Christina Crist, the manager director of Team of Mercy, said. “You may’t go anywhere without someone carrying a dog, or walking their dog. In every single place you go in Terre Haute you see that. We do not have plenty of dog events, so why not create something that brings all the family together.”
The inaugural event included dozens of local vendors, delicious food, fun for the children, and we will not ignore the entire dog treats too.
But besides the entire fun and furry friends, this event has a much greater meaning behind it. It’s bringing the community together to boost awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.
“Individuals don’t desire to speak about mental health illnesses. They don’t desire to speak about suicide, but we’ve to. And what higher strategy to do it’s to bring everyone together than with furry fundraisers,” Crist said.
Christina Crist is the manager director of Team of Mercy, a neighborhood nonprofit that helps survivors of suicide. She helped create this event and convey it to life.
She said she desired to provide you with something that may bring a positive change to the community.
“Loving on dogs, loving one another, and just showing what true community is, that is what will break the stigma and that is what will make real change,” Crist said.
And on top of this, Dog Days of Summer is showing locals just how much of a positive impact a furry friend can have in your mental health.
“There’s nothing higher than to come back home after working all day to a pet, Carla Artis, a Terre Haute Humane Society volunteer, said. “Whether it’s a dog or a cat. You will see your blood pressure drop. You will have someone that’s going to provide you unconditional love.”
Organizers say 100 percentpercent of the proceeds from Friday’s event will go toward mental health resources for the community.
The general hope is to point out people they’re loved and to interrupt the stigma that surrounds mental health.
“Getting out here, breaking the stigma, bringing people together, and showing what true community is and what love is, that is what will save lives,” Crist said.
In case you couldn’t make it to Dog Days of Summer, you possibly can still help support mental health and donate to Team of Mercy by clicking here.