Firm: Wells Fargo Advisors
City: Grove, Okla.
Years as an advisor: 6
Years with current firm: 6
AUM: $165 million
Dog is man’s best friend. But sometimes that friend (and its owner) needs a little help.
Jack Wimer, a Grove, Okla.-based advisor, founded Friends of Fido, an organization focused on getting meals to pets with owners participating in the local Meals on Wheels organization DOCServices—the Delaware, Ottawa, Craig Senior Nutrition Site.
The project—which received its 501(c) 3 certification in February—took off after the local humane society met with his Rotary Club early last year. The humane society asked for a $2,500 grant to purchase dog food to distribute to pets owned by the elderly and shut-ins serviced by Meals on Wheels.
In the past, the humane society had collected broken bags of dog food from the local Wal-Mart, poured it into garbage bags and dropped it off at the Meals on Wheels collection site.
But Wimer had a better idea. Instead of dropping off big bags of food at the local pick-up station—forcing drivers to bag and distribute the food to people—he pre-bagged individual portions and color-coded the food to make distribution faster and easier.
Friends of Fido uses only high-quality food, which maintains the animals’ overall health and limits the amount of excrement that the elderly may have to clean up.
“It doesn’t cost us any more to scoop, bag and deliver the expensive stuff, but it makes a huge difference on the other end,” Wimer says.
In the beginning, it was just Wimer, his family and the staff at the office who handled much of the day-to-day shopping, bagging and deliveries. But when a client noticed Wimer and his wife bagging food one day and offered to help, the project quickly grew to encompass clients, friends, community members and even a local veterinarian who donated food.
While Wimer doesn’t solicit his clients for donations, many donate bags of food or stop by his office where he has a station set up to scoop individual portions of dog or cat food into bags. Once the food is bagged, Wimer drives to the Northern Oklahoma Meals on Wheels facility once a week to drop it off.
“The cost of doing it is just so insignificant compared to what you’re accomplishing,” Wimer says. Over the past year, Wimer has put in over 260 hours into the project and donated about $200 a month in food and transportation costs.
A dog lover himself, Wimer believes this is a project worth doing, no matter what the cost. “Dogs are so unconditional in their love, it’s an important bond to have, especially for these people who don’t always have anyone else,” he says.