TattCafe Hooks Up with Stray Dog Shelter in Troubled Greece

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Online dating is one way to 'hook-up' but TattCafe.com is offering their members a way to help a struggling shelter in Athens, Greece. Staff and members of TattCafe are encouraged to walk or pledge Team TattCafe in the Vancouver Sun Run 10K this April 2012.

TattCafe co-founder Helen Siwak (l) with Kiki Karathanassi, founder of Friends of Animals NF

"The Mad Greek Restaurant in Richmond, BC has stepped up as our first Silver sponsor and we challenge other Greek restaurants around the world to pitch in and help the Greek strays."

There is a little less than 10 weeks left before the Vancouver Sun Run 10K and the founders of TattCafe.com are training hard speed walking 3-5 km's three times a week.    

Admittedly "not a fit man", Vladimiros (Vlassis) Xanthopoulos has two goals for the online tattooed dating site that he and Canadian wife Helen recently launched. First is to build Team TattCafe, a 10 person corporate team to enter the Sun Run, and second to rally TattCafe members, especially those with ties to Greece, to help a struggling animal rescue shelter in his old neighbourhood of Neas Filadelpheas in Athens, Greece.

The economic hardship in Greece has hit the Filozoikos Neas Filadelpheas (Friends of Animals NF) especially hard as they struggle with local government that is not friendly to strays, lack of funds for food/medicine and a seemingly neverending stream of dogs abandoned in the park adjacent to the shelter. While volunteering is up, adoption and donations are down and positive outlooks are hard to come by.

More and more particularly hard hit families are bringing their children to the daily dog-walking sessions as an alternative to after-school programs, tutoring or even television watching, as they cannot offer these activities to their children anymore. The shelter provides a safe, fun environment where the children can get away from the hardships they see around them even if only for a few hours each day.

Vlassis and Helen were personally involved with this registered charity for three years before moving to Vancouver, BC, and know firsthand the cultural and financial difficulties faced by any animal rescue groups in Greece. By putting together a tattooed team of westcoast dog lovers, this couple hope to not only bring together local tattooed singles to train, race and find love together but to help keep a shelter operating so the strays may one day find love with new parents.

The Mad Greek Restaurant in Richmond, BC has stepped up as the first Silver level sponsor and TattCafe is challenging other Greek restaurants around the world to pitch in and help the Greek strays.

If you would like more information, photos, join or help TattCafe in their run to support the Friends of Animals NF, please visit http://sunrunfriendsofanimals.chipin.com/sun-run-4-nf-strays. For businesses there are Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsorship levels and for animal lovers donations are accepted through PayPal on their fundraising page.

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Helen Siwak
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