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connections with people

Natasha Kirsch: The Breeder of Amazing Opportunities – Joel Goldberg Media

Making Connections / April 5, 2023

Connections with people are at the heart of Natasha Kirsch’s work at Pawsperity, formerly known as The Grooming Project. As its Founding CEO, she took an innovative approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. And it begins by empowering single parents with job training in the high-demand, high-pay trade of dog grooming.

connections with people

Pawsperity’s education-based approach teaches parents the skills they need to succeed on the job. It also offers parenting, budgeting and life skills courses, along with mental health support. Through her work, she is connecting with people to build a better tomorrow, for her students and their families.

In my nearly 30 year career as a sports broadcaster, I’ve witnessed the value of building connections with people on and off the field. You have to before you can work together towards a common goal. It’s on reason that I often tell my keynote audiences, “It’s all about the people.”

It’s a lesson that will always be true, whether you work in sports, business or dog grooming. And it takes connecting with people to make it happen.

Single: Barriers to Entry

Before founding Pawsperity, Natasha built connections with people in poverty through her work at area homeless shelters. It gave her a deep understanding of the challenges they face when trying to life themselves out of poverty.

Many grew up to impoverished parents who dealt drugs or sold their bodies to make ends meet. It was the only way of life they knew. Eventually, they fell into the same trap themselves.

Natasha saw the potential in these individuals, but they lacked education, work history or job skills. Additionally, many were battling addiction or had felonies on their record, making it even more challenging to find stable employment.

The barriers can seem insurmountable, but Pawsperity is designed to teach people how to overcome them. Upon graduation, students don’t just have the credentials for successful workforce entry, they also have the skills.

Double: The Lightbulb Moment 

Natasha’s inspiration for Pawsperity actually came from her mother. When she was a kid, her mom would drop her off at school before coming home to groom dogs in the family’s garage. She built a successful company, and when Natasha was a teenager, she was hired to do its bookkeeping.

“My mom called from Iowa,” Natasha recalled. Business was booming and her mom desperately needed help. She said, “I’ll train any warm body who walks through the door.” In that moment, a lightbulb went on.

From experience, Natasha knew that a career in dog grooming offered flexible hours and a living wage. After speaking with dozens of employment partners, she also learned that there was just as much demand for groomers in Kansas City. So much, in fact, that all qualified applicants were considered…even those with felonies on their record.

Finally, she found the solution she had been looking for.

Triple: Connecting at the Core 

Connecting with people is at the core of Pawsperity’s mission.

At the student level, the support needed by students can be difficult to comprehend if you did not grow up in poverty. For this reason, Natasha has a team of social workers on the training room floor. They help students navigate and heal from the trauma that is still a reality for many.

At the organizational level, breaking the cycle calls for a team effort. Community partnerships throughout the Kansas City metro have enabled Pawsperity to deploy a range of resources.

It has been such a success that of the students who have graduated to date, nearly 75% are entirely off of welfare for the first time ever. It’s a life-changing testament to the power of opportunity.

Home Run: A Two-Generation Approach

The key to Pawsperity’s success lies in its two-generation approach. By connecting with people and organizations, it is able to provide a network of services that not only benefit the students, but their children too.

Before students ever step foot in the classroom, Pawsperity assesses each family’s ability to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and medical care. It then leverages relationships with community partners to provide resources where necessary.

These partnerships are essential to helping students focus less on survival and more on completing their 644 hours of hands-on training.

By giving students that safety net, Pawsperity ensures they and their families have all of the tools they need to rise above – and break out of – generations of poverty.

Listen to the full interview here or tune in to Rounding the Bases every Monday and Thursday, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Learn More About Connections with Others from Joel

Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.

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Full Transcript:

Joel Goldberg 0:19
Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Rounding the Bases. We are rolling right along on Season Eight. If you’re listening to this as it comes out, we’re getting closer to Thanksgiving. Hard to believe that it’s November, if you’re listening to it another month of the year or in a different year, thank you for tuning in. That’s the beauty of podcasts. Again, my name is Joel Goldberg. And Rounding the Bases is a podcast about culture and leadership with a baseball twist. And we cover a lot of ground from a lot of different fields and a lot of different stories. That’s the beauty and the intention of this podcast that wouldn’t happen without the support of Community America Credit Union: Believe in Unbelievable. I’m also thrilled to have a partnership with Chief of Staff Kansas City. They’re good friends of mine. I love to partner with them, whether it’s doing some speaking engagements for them, whether it’s the, the the resources, some of which we share, but most importantly, I love to send people that way. If you’re looking for a job if you’re looking to hire someone, they’re they’re just good people. So check them out at chiefofstaffkc.com. Got a really cool story making an impact in the community today. My guest is a social entrepreneur who’s breeding new opportunities for impoverished families. Her name is Natasha Kirsch, the founding CEO and Executive Director of Pawsperity. It’s an innovative nonprofit on a mission to end the cycle of generational poverty. By training parents in the high demand trade of pet grooming, they are able to overcome barriers to workforce entry and turn their lives around with strength and influence. Natasha empowers one family at a time to rise above their past and create a gainful new future for themselves. This is a really, really cool and intriguing story to me, because it involves pets, that’s certainly a passion of mine. Who by the way, doesn’t feel that way. Don’t answer if you do. But as an owner of two dogs myself, this one hits me. Anything with pets does. And then when you talk about making an impact in community, and trying to end poverty and tying all that together, consider me extremely intrigued. So I welcome into the podcast right now. Natasha Kirsch Natasha, how are you?

Natasha Kirsch 2:31
Great. Thanks for having me.

Joel Goldberg 2:33
It’s good to have you. And this is so fascinating to me, because I think we all I don’t know. And then, you know, I want you to chime in here. I think we all understand that poverty needs to end. That it needs to be chipped away at. We have different approaches to it. And some people find it more important than others. I happen to think that it’s extremely important to whatever community you live in. It’s going to make for better communities, better people, better lives and all that. That seems pretty basic to me, maybe not everybody agrees on that. So I’m assuming you agree there, but this is a really unique way of going about it, too. So one, tell me about this mission for you in terms of trying to end poverty, and then to how did you come up with this?

Natasha Kirsch 3:19
Yeah, so those are kind of combined questions. So I actually used to volunteer in homeless shelters, writing grants. And I would meet so many people that just couldn’t get jobs, because lack of education, lack of job history, or they just didn’t have the job skills, and then a lot of them had felonies on the record. So it just seemed impossible to get out of poverty if you couldn’t have a job paying enough to actually make that happen. And so many of those parents were born into poverty. And their kids were on the same path that the parents were on, you know, a lot of abuse and neglect as children raising themselves, you know, as teenagers on the streets, becoming pregnant early, getting into drugs, to kind of cope with their life and often selling their bodies to survive. So you know it for me, it was how can we possibly look at breaking the cycle. And so that’s really how we came up with with The Grooming Project.

Joel Goldberg 4:23
You know, as you say that it just dug a little deeper for me because you talk about selling bodies. That was one element that you met there, and I, you know, I feel very fortunate enough last year to have done a four part series on human trafficking. And I think that’s just sort of the beauty and I’m guessing you and I really just met but I’m guessing that you feel the same that a lot of times as you start to open these doors one you find out about more, unfortunately, too, because of the position you’re in because of the position I’m in and none of this has anything to do with baseball per se. We get to meet a lot of people. And, and sort of the fortune for me is that I get my eyes opened up to issues that I wish I didn’t know existed. Well, I’m glad I know they exist, but I wish they didn’t exist. But then again, it gives us a voice, a platform, in your case, that this incredible opportunity to make an impact. But when I, when I talked to some of the experts on human trafficking, they talked about one health how few people really, truly understand and know about it. I’m not asking you to dig deep into that. But the greater point I’m trying to get to, is that when you stop, say, human trafficking, you stopped so many other elements of crime, it’s not just that simple issue. And so I’m thinking that this is kind of the same, right? I mean, when you could strike out poverty, you’re striking out so many of the other issues that plague our community.

Natasha Kirsch 5:47
Yeah, that’s right. It’s but I actually got into this because of my work in human trafficking and, and then also working with folks that were addicted to drugs and alcohol. And what I really learned was, you know, the folks were selling drugs, because that’s a family friendly career. And that’s something that they knew how to do often because they learned it from the parents. And so they didn’t, when when you have, you know, a felony on your record, or other, you know, stuff preventing you from getting a legal job, you’re going to do those illegal jobs to survive and put food on the table. And so when we can turn that around, and actually give them a path out and give them a legal legit career, then all of that other crime will stop. And we’ve already seen that.

Joel Goldberg 6:39
So that has to be incredibly rewarding, right? In this in this sort of massive mountain, where you hope to make little dents every single day, that has to be incredibly helpful for you to see some of the results that you’re getting.

Natasha Kirsch 6:55
Yeah, you know, it’s funny, because poverty is such a wicked problem, because it touches so many areas, and so many things have to be done to make it stop. But we’ve really learned that it’s actually not that hard. You know, if you just start talking to the person that’s, that’s really struggling that needs out, and you start addressing their individual needs, you know, is it mental health? Do they need housing? Do they need childcare? Do they need legal? You know, is it dental. And often it’s all of those things. But you put those wraparound services in place, start teaching some of that emotion regulation so that they can actually retain a job in the in the workforce, and then give them a career where they can actually make a living wage or more. You can end the cycle in less than two years. We’ve got 100 graduates and 73% of them are completely off of the welfare cycle, and can support themselves and their families.

Joel Goldberg 7:53
That that’s fascinating to me, because I would have thought that it would take more than two years. I’m sure it’s not an easy, none of this is easy, right? But I think that when you’re trying to sell something to someone, whether that be the people you’re trying to help, whether that be the people you’re trying to raise money from whatever it is, two years is doable. Five years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years that can get overwhelming, right. And so let me let me backtrack a little bit because this is a really unique marriage, so to speak, between one of the problems that plagues us. And really, I think, one of the elements of many of our lives, that makes us feel better that that that brings us comfort and brings us peace on the worst of days. That’s true, by the way for people that are in poverty, that’s true for the wealthiest, and that is our pets. You talked a little bit about your history. But what about the idea where it started to click that lightbulb moment where you said, Wait a minute, what if we can bring these two things together? That’s not an overnight thing?

Natasha Kirsch 8:56
Yeah, so I actually was so I was working at the homeless shelter. And every night I would drive home devastated because all these people wanted jobs, willing to do whatever it took to to get a job and I just couldn’t find them employment. And one of those nights my mom called from Iowa and she said, I will put a you know, I’ll train any warm body who walks through the door. I need another groomer. And that was lightbulb moment for me because my mom was a dog groomer. And she actually started in our garage when we were kids. So she would drop us off at school, and then come home and groom dogs and and pick us up. And when I was a teenager, you know, I’d come home with, you know, beer on my breath and cigarettes in my pocket. And she was always there and she would put me back on track. And too often I’m seeing these families that are working second shift making minimum wage leaving the six year old at home with a two year old. So long story short, I you know, I knew how much money my mom made. I did her bookkeeping since I was 14 years old. And I started just doing some research, you know, around the country. And I learned that there’s very few growing schools, there’s a huge demand, I ended up interviewing, you know, 40 employment partners here in Kansas City. And half of them said that they would hire somebody with a felony on their record, because the demand was so high. And that’s exactly what I needed. I needed a high demand, I needed family friendly. And I needed something where they could make a livable wage.

Joel Goldberg 10:30
So you had that opening. And this is clearly something that you had passion for on both ends, right, in terms of paths, and in terms of in terms of poverty and everything beyond as we have established. So okay, it’s one thing to have the idea. It’s another thing, and I think it, maybe it wasn’t for you, but I’m guessing it was a scary thing to take that jump, right. I mean, we hear that so often from entrepreneurs about, can they take that, and some of them, they can take that jump every single day, others never, never take that leap? What was that process like for you?

Natasha Kirsch 11:05
So I actually I enrolled in graduate school to learn how to run a nonprofit and then start one and I studied generational poverty for two years. And then after that, I spent, you know, several years even starting in graduate school trying to fundraise for this I don’t have money. This isn’t, you know, I, I actually was, I had one year left of alimony, I was going through a divorce. And I ended up I knew I had one year to make this work. Because I couldn’t afford not to work. And I was, you know, I had a part time job. But I really had to dive in. So I quit my part time job, spent about a year doing everything possible to try and raise the funds to get this started. And luckily, it worked. Because otherwise, I mean, this wouldn’t exist. And I you know, it was it was years of rejection, you know, people would say, great concept come back to us and three years when you can prove that it will work. And it’s like, well, I can’t prove it if I can’t start it. So it was it was a lot of credible people in the community that I just kind of randomly met, that ended up really helping me push this forward.

Joel Goldberg 12:18
Yeah, there’s something interesting here, because there’s a little bit of the chicken and the egg, right? I mean, how are you supposed to prove it when you can’t do it? But how do you do it? So was it is not a law that anything simple, but was it as simple as meeting those people? The connections, I guess where I’m going with that is I maybe not every podcast, but most of them. And all the speeches that I do for companies often end up just the simple saying of it’s all about people. And so that involves networking that involves connectivity that involves building trust. Where did that fit in? For us? It sounds like that was a key piece.

Natasha Kirsch 12:57
Yeah, so it kind of happened at two or three angles. So I ended up I won some awards for the concept with UMKC that was connected to St. Andrew’s church. And then they basically, St Andrew’s church made all of their members go to coffee with me, like it was kind of like you had to do that. And I ended up working with a couple of guys there, Doc Worley who actually started the Kansas City Business Journal, and he met with me for like eight months before he really kind of saw that this could work. And it was like the moment that that light bulb changed for him, you know, in his head, that’s when he started connecting me with other you know, we ended up getting $100,000 from the city because of a connection that he had. And then once we got that little bit of funding, then it would start to snowball a little bit. You know, there was another, I remember, I was at a bar waiting for another, you know, graduate student to come. I can’t remember what we were meeting about. But there was a group of drunk guys at a table and it was like six o’clock at night. I don’t know how long they’ve been drinking for. But they kept bothering me and finally, you know, I realized I’m like, you know, if you want to make somebody go away, ask them for money. And, and that’s what I did. And the funny thing is, you know, I told him about my nonprofit this capital campaign, they ended up connecting me to another guy that has a foundation that was friends with Carl DiCapo and Bill Dunn Senior and that’s when those guys started you know, Bill Dunn Senior spent eight months mentoring me, you know, which who does that? You know, he didn’t know me he just you know, believed in my concept.

Joel Goldberg 14:42
I don’t think the moral of the story is that if you’re looking for some funding and some help go go to a bar a bunch of drunk guys that have been day drinking all day long, but it actually did work. I think that I think there’s a better moral of you can’t find out unless you ask.

Natasha Kirsch 14:54

Joel Goldberg 14:55
You were asking to get them out of your hair and and look where it ended up going. So you never know, but you don’t know unless you try it. Right?

Natasha Kirsch 15:02
Right. Right. You know, it’s funny, we had an executive coach and in grad school, and he always said, if you don’t ask you don’t get. And that’s just kind of been my motto ever since.

Joel Goldberg 15:14
I love it. And something we could all learn from too, especially those of us that can get a little bit gun shy about rejection, or whatever it is. Most of us have that in us into some capacity. I’m always amazed at the people that have zero fear with that at all. And so kudos to you for for doing that. So, where are you? I want to backtrack on a couple other things in a moment. But where are you at right now, in terms of your growth and progress?

Natasha Kirsch 15:39
Yeah, so right now, we’re in a building that 58th and Troost. Two, but we’re renovating one, just one building over, because I’ve got about 10 grooming stations, and we get about 300 applications a year for students wanting into our program. So and we’ve got about 250 employment partners that want groomers. But I’m like barely scratching the surface. Because we just don’t, you know, we don’t have the space. So we did buy a building this year, we’re in the middle of a capital campaign. And we’ll be able to graduate 80 to 100 grooming students at this new space. We’ll actually have a doggy daycare on site and will work with struggling youth on pet safety and handling because there’s a ton of doggy daycare jobs out there. And then we’ll have an on site market rate grooming salon. So that’s our graduates that wants to start their own businesses, they want to build their clientele. They can do that right, right, right there at 58th and Troost.

Joel Goldberg 16:39
So let’s go back a little bit to exactly how it works. Take me through the beginning. Once someone gets in, and then what happens?

Natasha Kirsch 16:47
Yeah, okay. So when I get somebody in our doors, you know, they’re usually coming from a homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter or something like that. So then we start assessing their individual needs. So you know, do they have housing? Do they have childcare, do they have mental health, dental, legal, you know, what do they need to do to be stable enough that they can be in class 40 hours a week, for six months. As soon as we help them stabilize, they start class. Thats 644 hands-on hours of grooming training, we are a state certified school through Missouri, that was a whole nother long process. But when they graduate, that’s when they move into our bridge program. So that’s when they start navigating off of welfare. And this is a really scary time for people. You know, if you’ve been on welfare your entire life and your parents with on welfare their entire lives, you don’t know any different, you don’t have enough self confidence to think that you can do this on your own. So we tell them, No, trust us hang in there, you’re gonna start losing your your government benefits. But it’s okay, we have emergency funding from our donors. And then we work with these other agencies that can help kind of fill in those gaps, like rent assistance, if the car breaks down, stuff like that. After two years, the student completely graduates our program, but they can come back and an in and out of our services for life. So at that point, they might be making $40-$50,000 a year. But that’s, I mean, that’s enough to keep your head above water. But if something really goes wrong, you’re going to be back into the same situation that you were in. So we need them to keep growing, we need them to get up to that $60-$70,000 level, so that they can really be kind of secure. And so that’s kind of, in a nutshell, what we do with our families, and then the graduates that have gone out and made it they come back then and help our new students, you know, pull them up out of it, too.

Joel Goldberg 18:46
I have to imagine that the transformation seeing these men and women go through that process over two years has to be one of the most rewarding and amazing things. I’m saying that knowing even though I don’t know what does that look like?

Natasha Kirsch 19:06
Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s pretty incredible. It’s funny, I have a story. One of my managers at my Lee’s Summit grooming salon, she was in our very first class. And she was so shy, she wouldn’t set any boundaries with her family. Her family was had a lot of needs and really was looking for her to kind of solve their problems but she had her own, you know, her own bag of stuff to try and deal with. She would not like the phone would ring and she wouldn’t say anything on the phone. She would literally pass the phone around. You know it take two minutes to find somebody else in the building to talk to the customer on the other line. But now she’s completely different as she’s come out of her shell. She’s now the you know the manager at my salon. And it when she first started it was always I got something to say about that. And I always I loved it because she never spoke up before. And that’s what was really holding her back. So I mean, now, she’s actually doubled our revenue from last year and in one year, and she’s on track to make over $90,000 this year. Yeah.

Joel Goldberg 20:18
And I don’t know what she was making when it all started. But I know it wasn’t $90.

Natasha Kirsch 20:23
Working at Taco Bell, and it wasn’t, it wasn’t there.

Joel Goldberg 20:27
So she’s probably making minimum wage and just rolling through the cycle of poverty. Right. Yeah. So to be able to help break that. And I, I know that there are much greater goals than that. But we talked earlier in the podcast about just seeing that early success and seeing it break within two years, to be able to have your fingerprints on some of that. I mean, I asked people all the time about, like, a lot of us what, you know, What’s your why? What’s your purpose? What gets you up? Amidst all of the challenges of doing something like this, and I know that they are countless, that has to be what gets you out of bed every day, right?

Natasha Kirsch 21:09
Yeah, you know, I, it’s funny, it’s harder now with where I’m at in the organization. Because, you know, in the beginning, I worked every day hands on with the families. And, and now, I don’t have the same, you know, I don’t have the same relationships with them anymore, which does make the job harder as you get further away from that. But I do I love it, like I love when I’m looking at social media, and they’re posting stuff about how, you know, they got to take their kids out for breakfast for the first time ever. And their kids are six and seven years old. You know, it’s just it’s stuff that’s like normal, everyday life that I’ve always taken for granted that some people never get to do, you know, the the kids that had been homeless that have never been in school before. And they’re 10 years old, you know, now in school and thriving. That’s huge. So yeah, I mean, hearing those stories is definitely what keeps me going. I just wish I had I got to work with the students every day like I used to.

Joel Goldberg 22:17
While you’re working with their, with their parents, oftentimes with dads and then and who knows, I mean, because that then passes down to them. And they may follow in those footsteps. And and I’m sure you’re getting to know some of the families and their stories, too. I mean, that’s the power of storytelling. And that’s what you have to do in your role, too, right? I mean, you’re seeing all these success stories, the more you share it, the more people are aware, I would imagine that you have become a master storyteller. And in terms of the the people that you are working with, and the people that that you are graduating out of your your class out of your school.

Natasha Kirsch 22:49
Yeah, you would think so. But I don’t think that that’s my, that’s not my superpower.

Joel Goldberg 22:56
Well, yeah, keep telling those stories, and it’ll become a superpower. Because, you know, we all I think we all love these success stories. And you know, you, to me, at least, and I am a storyteller, you need to see the failure too. I mean, that’s, that’s probably one of the very difficult things for you. It sounds like it was one of the difficult things for you leading up to this is that you see a lot of the stuff that people don’t see when they drive right by, right, but at the same time, that’s what’s helped get you to this point.

Natasha Kirsch 23:28
Yeah, you know, the learning thing for me or us even was that, you know, I thought this was a six month program, I thought we were gonna teach people how to groom dogs. And then they were gonna, you know, make a lot of money and get out of poverty, and we’re done. But it was really when I learned that no, this is 50% of kind of those professionalism, life skills, stabilization, and 50% growth. Because nobody, what happened was, I had my first pilot class, and there was six of them, I graduated, within two months, I got them all jobs, but in two months, four out of the six had lost their jobs. And it was because that transition is just so scary. And they no longer had our support. And so that’s when we really had to go back and look at what we were doing to make otherwise it’s like, our training did nothing. So, yeah.

Joel Goldberg 24:24
I mean, I guess bottom line is that it’s not enough just to train someone to be a pet groomer. Right. I mean, it’s yeah, we want to give them the tools to succeed in life and breaking poverty. That’s one of the pieces. I mean, it sounds to me like this program is just so much more. They get that skill, but it’s everything else that comes with it.

Natasha Kirsch 24:45
Right. Yeah. So we actually have social workers on the grooming room floor. Because, I mean, our groomers, our grooming instructors are seeing that trauma firsthand. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had women come in had to come to school in the morning. And they still have struggle marks on their neck from the night before. And a grooming instructor didn’t go to social work school, they don’t know how to handle that. And so we really have to pair our instructors with professionals in the mental health field so that our students can get through the day, you know,

Joel Goldberg 25:23
And your instructors too, right. I mean, there’s elements that they never thought that they, they would. And so I think everybody is better for it. That is that is involved in the process. I want to hit you with my three baseball themed questions. And I know you’re, you still got a long ways to go with, with all the success that you were having. But to this point, what’s the biggest homerun you’ve hit?

Natasha Kirsch 25:44
I think the industry that we picked, you know, I learned so much about the human animal bond just from my students. They’re all coming from very traumatic backgrounds. And they’ll tell us that the most enjoyable relaxing part of their day is working with the dogs. And when that’s your most enjoyable part of the day, you’re gonna go to work every day. So I think, and then the amount of money that people are making in the pet industry. When I first started, I thought they were gonna make around $40,000. But we’re seeing $70-$90,000 with a lot of our graduates now. It’s amazing.

Joel Goldberg 26:23
Yeah, amazing. All right, second question. Swing and a miss, what’s the biggest swing and miss you’ve taken? And what have you learned from

Natasha Kirsch 26:31
That would be knowing that the program is not just about grooming, you know. That you’ve got to have all of those emotion regulation and mental health classes and the wraparound support. Otherwise, the grooming part isn’t going to work.

Joel Goldberg 26:48
And then lastly, my favorite questions, small ball, the little things that add up to the big results, what are those behind the scenes, those little things that that make everything better? What you’re doing right now, with Pawsperity? What, what is small ball?

Natasha Kirsch 27:04
Yeah, you know, I think for me, the little things are, you know, every day I see how our group of students and graduates, they’ve never met each other before, but they know each other now through the social media stuff that we have them connected with. And they’re supporting each other. So and our students are usually coming from backgrounds where they have nobody, you know, they have no support. And to watch them do that for each other. It just, I mean, it makes all the difference in the world.

Joel Goldberg 27:35
Yeah, so cool. I know that, on the simplest level, people can find out more about Pawsperity by going to thegroomingproject.org. There’s a ton of great information on there. And I like there’s a video on there. And it simply states how the dog grooming market could break the poverty cycle. And quite frankly, that doesn’t add up until we listened to your interview. And we hear the story which you have, by the way, masterfully told, because it’s just not something that I think we’ve ever put together in our heads other than the fact that I said it earlier that pets have a way of making everything better. And any of us that are pet owners know that right? You come home after the worst of days, and they don’t care. And I’m not telling anybody anything that they haven’t heard or experienced before. If you happen to be a pet owner, if you’re not, you could still understand about just the impact this has on the community. How else Natasha, can people get involved?

Natasha Kirsch 28:34
Well, we would love for them to bring their dogs in our doggy daycare, we’re open in February and our market rate grooming salon on Troost will also open then too. So and we’ve got our Summit Lee, I’m sorry, our salon in Lee’s Summit. So bring your dogs and get them groomed with us. And all of that money supports our program to train more students.

Joel Goldberg 28:55
Which is awesome. And I really would encourage everybody to go to the website, thegroomingproject.org. It’ll be in the show notes as well. In case you forget that you can book your appointments on there, you see some really inspiring videos and learn everything that Natasha and her team are doing. I’ve got four bonus questions that I want to ask you over on YouTube. So I’ll encourage everyone if they want to learn a little bit more to check us out. It’ll be in the show notes as well on YouTube. But definitely for anyone listening. Share this with your networks. And let’s get the word out Natasha, congratulations on an incredible idea and impactful idea and everything that you have done on the personal end, as well because I know this is not a journey that you ever expected to be on. And that’s kind of the beauty of it. So thanks so much for spending time Rounding the Bases and congratulations.

Natasha Kirsch 29:41
Thank you for having me.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai