Defence team members spread ‘paws’-itivity for cause

Kateryna Bandura, 
Lookout Editor

CFB Esquimalt saw an increase in working paws last week.

“‘Bring Your Dog to Work Day’ increases morale, builds strong communities, promotes good health, and gives folks an opportunity to give in a meaningful way,” said Matt Carlson, CFB Esquimalt Public Affairs Projects Officer and Team Lead for the CFB Esquimalt National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign (NDWCC).

Happy puppy faces greeted CFB Esquimalt Defence Team members during the ‘Paws for Health’ event on Oct. 19. Members could bring their furry friend to work with a $10 donation as part of the NDWCC, running until the end of the year. The campaign benefits charitable organizations of the United Way Southern Vancouver Island and the 16 charities of Health Partners. This year’s NDWCC slogan is ‘Stronger Together’, chosen with the theme of inclusivity and the sentiment of togetherness.

Carlson said the ‘Paws for Health’ event gave members a unique opportunity to engage their workplace with one another’s canine friends.

“I love that CFB Esquimalt held this event because the presence of dogs in a working space can create an opening for communication between people, and for me, they are fun to be around,” said Leslie Eaton, graphic designer at The Lookout.

A photo contest ran alongside the event for those participating virtually, capturing pets of all shapes, sizes, and species that provide companionship to Defence Team members.

Last year members raised more than $180,000 to support the charities, but Carlson said the national NDWCC team is not focused on monetary goals.

“Meaningful giving looks different to everyone, so the goals are always getting the message out to 100 per cent of our membership,” he said.

CFB Esquimalt will see more in-person events as part of the NDWCC now that COVID restrictions have been lifted. Anticipated events include an Art Silent Auction, Activity Inclusion Day, and Purdy’s Chocolate Sales.

“We provide CFB Esquimalt an opportunity to engage in meaningful giving. In doing so, we are truly stronger together as a community,” Carlson said. “Personally, I think our community will be strong in engagement with this important campaign.”

The campaign continues on Base with donations accepted at

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