Peoria service dog organization asking community to help them win $25K in grant money

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Paws Giving Independence, a local service dog training organization, is asking the community to vote for their business to win a $25,000 grant from State Farm.

The State Farm Neighborhood Assist program has selected PGI as one of 200 nationwide organizations up for the prize. The top 40 companies with the most votes will receive the grant.

PGI is a Peoria-based company dedicated to rescuing and training dogs to assist facilities and people with disabilities across Central Illinois. Donna Kosner, a co-founder of PGI, said they provide a totally free service, covering all expenses while dogs are training.

Kosner said raising money became harder after fundraisers were canceled for COVID-19, and this grant money would cover a whole year of vet bills and bring in more dogs.

“People still have disabilities, and we don’t have a product you can stop training,” Kosner said. “Our dogs are in training for two years…we can’t just stop training because then, for two years, we wouldn’t have dogs for the recipients that need them.”

Voting begins Aug. 18 and ends Aug. 27, and winners will be announced on Sept. 29.

You can vote here on State Farm Neighborhood Assists’ website.

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