Best Friends For Heroes: Providing Service Dogs To Veterans
Organized by: Matthew McCord
Hello everyone, I need your help in supporting an amazing cause!! This is really a two for one here!!
Back in October my dad retired from the Army after proudly serving his country for 30 years. During his 30 years of service, he was deployed to Iraq several times and, like many of our combat veterans, suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A couple of years ago he was given the amazing opportunity to train and license his dog Penny as a PTSD service dog. That opportunity changed his life forever and has really helped him cope with his PTSD and try to live as normal of a life as possible. After training and licensing Penny, he got involved with the organization and eventually became one of their trainers. The organization that helped my dad can only take so many clients at a time so he and a few other dedicated individuals are now branching out and starting their own non-profit organization in hopes of providing more deserving people the same life changing opportunity he got at little to no cost to them and they need our help! I have personally seen the positive impact that these service dogs can have on their handlers lives and well being, these animals are truly saving lives!
About the organization:
Best Friends For Heroes is a non-profit organization that provides training and Service Dogs to the Military, Veterans, and Civilian individuals who are dealing with mental issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injuries, and physical disabilities. It is our hope to provide this service to everyone at the lowest financial cost possible and to show our emotional support during and after the application process. In order to accomplish this service, we rely on donations and volunteers. Please help us continue to support our community and those individuals who are suffering from the "invisible wounds" which has become so prevalent in today's society.
To provide help for Veterans and civilians who are in need of, and would benefit from a Service Dog in order to support independence, instill confidence, and gain stability from issues concerning their physical or emotional health AND to ensure that every Veteran or civilian who comes through our doors, and suffers from a psychological or physical disability is afforded an opportunity to get their Independence and Freedom back through the use of a Service Dog.
A two-for-one donation!
Here is where this organization gets EVEN BETTER, Best Friends For Heroes is not only helping people, THEY ARE SAVING LOCAL DOGS LIVES TOO!!!!! Clients have the option of being matched with a dog or putting their current pet through training if they pass the initial screening process. When someone chooses to be matched with a dog, they get to meet with different dogs and choose their new best friend themselves. All of the dogs available for people to be matched with are rescued from local shelters that unfortunately a lot of animals never make it out of. Some dogs are fostered by local volunteers until they are matched with someone and begin training. Any dogs that are unable to complete the training for whatever reason are found homes and never returned to the shelters. My parents have taken in several dogs themselves in cases where a home could not be found for them.
What do service dogs do?
Service Dogs can be trained to assist and perform tasks for their handler which may be experiencing including (but not limited to):
- Muscular Weakness
- Hearing Impairment
- Memory Loss
- Limited Mobility
- Impaired Balance
- Heightened Awareness/Anxiety
- Chronic Pain
- Nightmares/Sleeping issues
- Feeling Unsafe In Crowded Areas
- Many other life impairing disabilities
What will your donations be used for?
Running a non-profit organization and providing these service animals at no cost is only possible because of volunteers and donors like you! Best Friends For Heroes is a new organization and there are still some start up costs that need to be covered in order to secure a non-profit charter and a more permanent facility. After the start up costs are covered we will still need donations in order to cover normal operating costs so we can continue to provide the amazing opportunity to as many people as possible.
Normal operating expenses include (but are not limited to):
- Veterinarian care
- Lots of dog food and treats (used for positive reinforcement during training)
- Adoption fees
- Custom made service dog vests/leahses
- Building rent and utilities
- Rental fees and expenses for events including fairs, festivals, and educational expos/demonstrations
- Lodging for trainers and handlers during out of town training
Every penny of your money will be put into the organization to help provide people in need with this life changing opportunity. This really is an amazing cause and we need all the help we can get! No amount is too small, every dollar helps!
Our website is currently under construction and will be up and running soon. Until then check us out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bffhcorp
We are located in Leesville Louisiana, near Fort Polk, and are happy to answer any questions. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org