September 19 marks the 11th annual North Texas Giving Day and the beginning of a collaboration between Envy Gaming and Canine Companions for Independence. Envy Gaming, one of the largest esports organizations in the world and owners of the popular Dallas Fuel franchise, will enlist the help of its professional players to support and celebrate the important role that service dogs play in the everyday life of people living with disabilities.
Across the nation, there are nearly 2,500 Canine Companion assistance dogs serving people with disabilities.
“With an esports industry audience of more than 60 million people in North America, we’re very optimistic that our partnership with Canine Companions will reveal that esports is a great way for nonprofits to connect with Millennials and Generation Z,” said Mike Rufail, owner and CEO of Envy Gaming. “Our fans want to support causes in their local communities and they love animals. That’s why we’re going to personally match up to $10,000 in donations to Canine Companions on North Texas Giving Day.”
Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence unites people of all ages with trained assistance dogs in a program that leads to greater independence, matches dogs with military veterans returning with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and connects facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and education.
“We’re more than honored that Envy Gaming chose to partner with our organization to bring our work of serving people with disabilities to even greater heights,” said Paige Mazzoni, CEO of Canine Companions for Independence. “We appreciate that Envy Gaming sees the value in enhancing awareness of how assistance dogs are changing the lives of children, adults and veterans.”
Envy Gaming and Dallas Fuel players will also provide support to Canine Companions at the organization’s national signature fundraising event, DogFest DFW, and through additional opportunities that will be announced throughout the rest of the year and in 2020. Started in 2009, North Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour online giving event designed to empower people to give back to their community. Approximately $240 million has been raised for thousands of nonprofits in the 20-county North Texas region. Last year alone, $48 million was raised through 157,000 gifts benefiting 2,700 nonprofits.
“North Texas Giving Day brings the entire community together—from families and students to civic leaders and company volunteers—all to celebrate the work of our region’s wonderful nonprofits,” said Susan Swan Smith, Chief Giving Day Officer at Communities Foundation of Texas. “Everyone can be a philanthropist on North Texas Giving Day. Your dollars go further with bonus funds and prizes and our easy-to-use website allows you to give back efficiently and effectively to the all causes nearest and dearest to your heart.”