helping the homeless — and their faithful companions
distributing pet food to those in need
August 14, 2017
“With just one gesture of kindness, no matter how small, we can make the day so much better for someone in need.”

That has been Andrew Bazemore’s philosophy since he was a child, when he began working with his brother and mother to distribute bags of food, toiletries, and supplies for the homeless.

Today, Andrew and his brother, Jordan, own Bazemore Insurance Group in Columbus, Ohio. Just as community-minded now as they were in their youth, helping the homeless remains a focal point.

Thanks to a chance meeting with Connie Swackhammer, the founder of Faithful Forgotten Best Friends, that support now includes helping the animal companions of the homeless, too. Animals who often are left behind when it comes to community assistance.

reuniting dog with homeless owner
Andrew Bazemore at the homeless camp reuniting Tigger to his owner, a homeless veteran named Roy, after fostering the dog for a month while Roy was dealing with health issues.

FFBF works to improve the quality of life for pets of the homeless, and less-fortunate in central Ohio, educating owners and providing food, vaccinations, and basic care. It was a perfect fit for the brothers, both big animal lovers.

“By helping others care for their animals, it can take some of the stress out of their lives and allow them to allocate funds elsewhere,” Bazemore said. “It could allow them to buy an extra bag of groceries, another book for their child, or put gas in their car.”

FFBF, an all-volunteer organization that is the only nonprofit in the Midwest focusing on this need, currently has about 1,300 clients, according to Swackhammer.

The Bazemores support FFBF in a variety of ways, including distributing pet food and other items to homeless camps, participating in spay-and-neuter clinics, fostering animals during the winter, and planning an annual fundraising golf tournament. Andrew volunteers for several hours each week.

“There’s always someone out there that needs our help,” he said.

helping out at a pet health clinic
Andrew Bazemore helps with a pet health clinic at Faithful Forgotten Best Friends.

And thanks to a 2017 Safeco Insurance Make More Happen Award, more people who need that help will receive it. The honor comes with up to a $10,000 donation to Faithful Forgotten Best Friends from Safeco on behalf of Bazemore Insurance Group.

“With this award, FFBF will be able to purchase much-needed medicine,” Swackhammer said. “We can also have a rabies clinic and a micro-chipping clinic — and we can spay and neuter hundreds of pets! We are so appreciative of Bazemore Insurance Group and their support.”

For Bazemore, it’s rewarding to know that he and his brother continue to make a difference: “If we all just keep making those gestures of kindness, imagine how much better this world could be.”

handing out winter clothing at a homeless camp
Bazemore and FFBF do more than just care for the animals. Here, Bazemore passes out blankets, hats, gloves and jackets at a homeless camp.

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