Volunteers are at the heart of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. The work we do is not possible without the continued support of the incredible individuals who pour themselves into helping animals across the province. Lee Duguid is the perfect example of the kind-hearted people who make the work of the Ontario SPCA possible.
Lee started fundraising for the Ontario SPCA’s Friends for Life! Walk™ in Sudbury in 1993. Now Sweat for Pets, the campaign aims to inspire people of all ages to set a personal fitness goal and have fun, while raising funds to help give animals in need a second chance. Funds raised through Sweat for Pets support life-changing work, providing animals with medical care and shelter until they find new homes.
Learn more about Sweat for Pets.
Almost 30 years Supporting the Ontario SPCA
Lee had originally only planned on being a “one-timer,” raising money to qualify for the prize of an Ontario SPCA t-shirt in her first year. “But after four years I was still going out beating doors down,” she says. Now in 2022, this was Lee’s 29th year participating in the fundraiser, and she raised a whopping $14,008.40, bringing her total fundraising amount for the Ontario SPCA to over $145,000.
Lee recalls many stories of her years raising money for the animals. “I once had a little girl run over to me and say, ‘I only have two dollars, is that okay?’ I said, ‘Sweetheart, it’s from the heart; absolutely it’s okay.”
This year, Lee says she was impressed that everybody was very kind and so giving. “By the end of August everyone was giving $20. It was amazing! We walked away one Sunday with around $1,100,” says Lee, who never imagined raising over $14,000 in one year. “Hats off to those who donated. I am only the collector because the animals can’t do it themselves. I just do what I do and I‘m really proud that I could raise this much money,” says Lee.
Raising money in the heat, cold and rain
Lee spends her days walking up and down streets, canvassing door to door in Azilda, Chelmsford and Dowling, raising funds for the Ontario SPCA Sudbury & District Animal Centre. She also stations herself outside of local businesses that also see the value in giving back to the community.
“People don’t have a clue what I go through to get that money, walking up and down streets,” she says. “There is so much sacrifice between the heat, the cold, the rain and the wind, but I always have a schedule and I stick to my schedule.”
One afternoon this August, just before the long weekend, Lee was out at 3 p.m. raising money. “A big gust of wind comes and knocks everything off my table,” Lee recalls. “My clipboard fell apart, all my donation papers flew away, I almost sat down and cried.”
After two young men graciously stopped to help her, Lee called a friend to come by. He asks, “Do you want to give up?” and Lee responds, “No, I’m going until 5:30.”
Lee got two more donations that afternoon, “I sat there for two hours for $30.” But even that $30 can make a difference in an animal’s life. “It’s the animals that I do this for,” says Lee.
We are so thankful to Lee, and to all of our supporters, fundraising for animals across the province.
Read more about Lee’s story here.