How the Tails of the Steel City Fundraiser Book is Inspiring Generosity and Making a Difference with Bridge to Home Animal Rescue

For close to six years, my goal of writing a book remained a distant, unattainable idea—​​a card within a Trello list gradually filling with concepts—​overshadowed by a hesitation about competing with other charitable projects and philanthropic initiatives.

Until April when I decided it was time: time to stop worrying about competition and distractions and how-tos, time to stop telling myself the limiting stories surrounding organizing multiple fundraising endeavors, and time to start sharing those of Pittsburgh’s incredible canine companions. What unfolded through this shift transcended beyond a culmination of mere stories and into a passion project that reflects a collective testament of love, companionship, and generosity.

It was then that Tails of the Steel City, a charitable coffee table book about the dogs of Pittsburgh, left that little Trello list to become a tangible expression of the indomitable spirit of 20 Pittsburgh dogs and the people who love them.

Choosing a Charity for the Tails of the Steel City Book Project

In the initial stages of conceptualizing Tails of the Steel City and the parameters around this project was the crucial decision of selecting the right charity. I wanted to support a rescue that was more general in scope, mainly because I have plans for future books that will explore more niche rescue communities. Bridge to Home Animal Rescue (BTHAR) emerged as the perfect partner, aligning with my values and the book’s mission to make a positive impact. I’ve seen firsthand the dedication and compassion of their staff and volunteers and witnessed the transformative power of adoption through countless clients of mine whose dogs have found their forever homes thanks to BTHAR. This exceptional organization takes in a wide variety of dogs, regardless of breed, age, or medical condition. They provide these animals with the loving care they deserve, while also working tirelessly to find them loving homes.

I believe that the heart of any charitable project lies within the noble cause it champions, which is why I pledged to donate 50 percent of book participation fees paid by chosen applicants and all proceeds from book sales to BTHAR to further amplify the project’s impact, ensuring that every purchase and every registration directly supported the rescue’s mission of rescuing and rehoming animals in need.

A Spotlight on Steel and Storytelling

Even before putting my fingers to the keyboard, I knew I wanted Tails of the Steel City to be a celebration of Pittsburgh and the dogs who call it home. I wanted their stories and the portraits we created to go alongside them to spotlight the city’s rich tapestry of history and a community that embodies resilience. I wanted to capture the essence of Pittsburgh, showcasing the region’s unique character and hidden treasures. These stories, like the city itself, needed to pay homage to the power of connection, the unwavering love between humans and animals, and the enduring spirit of a city that has weathered many trials and triumphs.

Tails of the Steel City fundraiser book that support Bridge to Home Animal Rescue on a shelf with a vase of purple flowers

I believe that every dog has a story worth telling. The heart of Tails of the Steel City beats to the rhythm of 20 heartwarming, hilarious, and relatable fur-focused tales. These stories are not just about wagging tails and floppy ears; they are narratives of resilience, companionship, and the unwavering loyalty that defines the bond between humans and their furry friends. Whether standing by us through life’s most challenging storms, showering us with the purest form of love and absolute affection, or simply offering a warm and welcoming presence, there’s simply no denying the extraordinary ways in which dogs have encouraged us to foster empathy, understanding, and a deeper connection to the world around us.

Overcoming Challenges and Unleashing Generosity

The journey of bringing my first fundraiser book to reality was not without its challenges (I’m looking at you, 104° heat index, and weeks of intense wildfire smoke), but the remarkable outpouring of generosity from the black and gold community has surpassed all expectations and sent a powerful message about the strength of unity within the Steel City. This would not have been possible without your collective passion, generosity, and contributions that helped us raise a significant amount of money for BTHAR.

I’m thrilled to report that, at the time of publishing this post, BTHAR has received a total donation of $4,685! As its founder Tracey shared upon receiving our first donation, BTHAR has faced immense financial challenges this year, particularly in covering what she referred to as “astronomical vet bills” for the dogs in its care. Your support will directly alleviate these burdens and ensure that these furry friends receive the medical attention they deserve, and for that, we thank you!

Celebrating Dogs and the Transformative Power of Their Love

This book is not just for dog owners; it’s for those who have experienced the depths of a dog’s unwavering devotion and emerged forever touched. It’s for those who recognize that a dog’s presence transcends the ordinary through unconditional love and loyalty, and an instinctive ability to weave themselves into our lives, forever altering our world as we know it. It’s an ode to the beautiful companions who have enriched our existence, transforming us in unimaginable ways with their steadfast companionship and infectious zest for life. It’s a nod to the profound connection that blossoms between humans and their canine counterparts, a bond that defies definition and transcends the boundaries of language.

Pittsburgh area dogs who participated in the Tails of the Steel City fundraiser coffee table book to benefit Bridge to Home Animal Rescue

A dog’s love knows no bounds and has the power to heal, inspire, and ignite a spark of joy within us that we perhaps never knew existed. It’s a love that reminds us of the beauty and simplicity of life, a love that teaches us the true meaning of unquestioning acceptance and limitless friendship. My wish is that these stories resonate with you on a deeper level and encourage you to extend a helping hand to those in need by supporting BTHAR with your purchase of Tails of the Steel City.

Support Bridge to Home Animal Rescue with a Book Purchase

Thank you for believing in the power of storytelling and for making Tails of the Steel City a resounding success. Your generosity and compassion have made a world of difference for the dogs of BTHAR. With immense gratitude for the overwhelming support received, I’d like to remind you that a limited number of copies of Tails of the Steel City are available for purchase via my website for $95 with all proceeds going directly to BTHAR. Grab one of these exclusive 50-copy collector’s editions before they’re gone for good. (If this limited run sells out and demand persists, although not guaranteed, I may consider additional print runs.)

Are you eager to capture your dog’s spirit amidst Pittsburgh’s iconic locations? Choose your adventure below to begin!

16 thoughts on “How the Tails of the Steel City Fundraiser Book is Inspiring Generosity and Making a Difference with Bridge to Home Animal Rescue

  1. Sharon says:

    You show cased Pittsburgh dogs in a beautiful way. What a great idea to help dogs in need with a charitable book project. Way to go raising $4.685 for Tails of the Steel City fundraiser book. I see the Black Standard Schnauzer, so cute. I guess I am biased 😉

  2. Terri says:

    Amazing that you’ve raised so much for Pittsburgh dogs in need with your charitable book project, Tails of the Steel City. I am sure that the book is gorgeous!

  3. Angela Schneider says:

    OK, so … shooting around wildfire smoke is NO FUN. Trust me, we know out here in the wild wild west. Bridge to Home Animal Rescue is so lucky to have you and I have no doubt the Pittsburgh dogs who were treated to a session were all sufficiently loved on. I’m so glad you Tails of the Steel City fundraiser book was a success but I’m not shocked by that either. <3!

  4. Carol says:

    Wow nice work with that fundraiser haul! I’m glad to see such a positive response for Tails of the Steel City and that you’re able highlight all of these gorgeous Pittsburgh dogs that were featured. Even the small sample of the locations visited here look awesome! Can’t wait to see what you do with the next book!! 😀

  5. Darlene says:

    Congratulations on Tails of the City, Jes!!! What a wonderful fundraiser for Pittsburg dogs. I’m sure your charity is over-the-moon with the project and results. Woohoo! Nice job!

  6. Lynn Sehnert says:

    Congratulations on your fundraiser book, Tails of the Steel City! Pittsburgh has many amazing locations for the dogs of Pittsburgh to have their photos taken.

  7. Kylee Doyle says:

    What an amazing goal to accomplish! Writing and photographing an entire book is no easy task, and to do so around wildfire smoke is even harder. I can’t wait to read your Tails of the Steel City fundraiser book!

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