Pets of Microsoft calendars raise money for charity

New calendars created by Microsoft are benefiting local charities.

REDMOND - SEATTLE -- One of the yearly highlights from working at Microsoft comes in the form of the cat and dog calendars. They are part of an employee giving program that has raised $722 million for more than 4,000 Washington charities since the 1980s.

The cat calendar proceeds go to the Forget Me Not shelter in Republic. It's projected to raise nearly $80,000 for 2016.

Cat lovers will be especially happy. There were so many submissions, two cat calendars were made this year. One of them includes Magic, a cat who loves adventure.

"We still have to do our day jobs, but it's a lot of fun doing this," said Karen Easterbrook, cat calendar organizer. "Our donations plus some work putting this together makes a huge difference."

The Dogs of Microsoft calendar supports Summit Assistance Dogs, which helps provide assistance dogs to people in need. It will likely raise more than $51,000 for 2016. It features various puppies, including a cute little French bulldog pup named Beatrix. She's Miss February if you want to check her out.

"They were able to raise that money and support," said Erika Heesacker, Beatrix's owner. "That is really a great thing."

"The people who need the dogs are usually not the people who have the money to get a dog to help them out," said Mark Swatzell, the dog calendar organizer. He says the dog calendars are also growing in popularity and there may be two of them next year.

Microsoft employees have created one of the world's largest employee giving initiatives of its kind. Microsoft also matches employee cash donations dollar-for-dollar as well as the time that employees volunteer in the community.

Buy a Cats of Microsoft Calendar by contacting Kim Gillen, director of the Forget Me Not Shelter, at 509-207-9023

LINK: Buy a Dogs of Microsoft Calendar

Copyright 2016 KING


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