Our program was designed to reach out to all in need, not just any specific age or disability. We reach those in need who are in cancer units, dialysis centers, burn centers, hospice, nursing homes, and hospitals, etc. We also work with children who have had emotional or physical trauma. We are also involved with school programs, health, and awareness programs, reading programs. We also have worked directly with families on home visitation for the elderly. Many of our Members are Certified Professionals who include Pet Therapy into their job description. We are celebrating our 24th year in 2017.
Around the Nation we open Chapters that visit facilities of all sorts. Because of the great distance involved it was impossible for any local members to be everywhere the need existed. That need exists around the world for caring and compassion. Throughout these 24 years we have worked with many hospitals around the nation. Our Community Outreach Program encompasses our Paws To Read Program for schools and libraries among other Programs.
Our hospital guidelines are formed with respect to a 94 yr old with respiratory problems to a 7 yr old with cancer. We have never forgotten it is an honor and privilege to visit those in critical care areas. To visit these areas special guidelines had to be written into our program. We pay attention always to be courteous and respectful of our surroundings and never take our visits for granted. There is no charge for our visits.
Our program is insured and copy righted so when we are approached we can proceed with great confidence that within our members, both 2 and 4 footed everyone’s needs is met. We do enforce any violations of copyright infringement to protect our Organization. Our members are always courteous of the residents needs. We will always ask if they would like to see and pet our Therapy Pets. We do not assume everyone likes pets and we do not ‘force’ anyone to be around them.
Headquarters is based in Tampa, Florida. All tax-deductible contributions are sincerely appreciated. All membership materials, anything connected with our Program is issued out of Tampa. Our costs are great, as expected, because of the critical areas we visit.
Because of those areas, we need to positively know beyond any doubt we can assure a facility we are the most dedicated, compassionate, and concerned group of
volunteers they will ever encounter.
All tax-deductible donations received go toward operating costs such as liability insurance, copies, mailings, office supplies, membership materials, and other costs involved in running the Organization. There are no paid employees, we are all Volunteers. Donations completely support us to operate and grow. All monies, donations, are used for the entire Organization, not to pay anyone’s ‘salaries’
Fundraising efforts go a tremendous way in increasing the number of volunteers who will be able to serve the facilities that have requested our services. Many volunteers average one hour of volunteer service per week while many visit once per month. We realize how busy everyone is and our visits are to be enjoyed by all, not to cause added stress in anyone’s life. Many stay longer and many visit multiple facilities each week.
This encompasses so many things, dreams, hopes, but most of all faith. To be able to make a difference in someone’s life is a very powerful thing. To offer your heart to a stranger and have faith the outcome will be positive is a little concerning. Life gives us many choices, many keep theirs simple, many keep theirs public and many try to combine both. Paws For Friendship Incorporated does both. In reaching out to others we enrich our own lives. We are able to visit many places that were once ‘off limits’ to an animal. For every reason we were told no, bringing animals into this facility would not be accepted. We also were blessed to hear absolutely, if you ‘guarantee’ this new Program of yours we will give you a try.
So, for whatever a ‘guarantee’ meant to one it meant something entirely different to another, it opened up a whole new world for us. Most will never know the complications of making sure all seems to operate smoothly on the surface. Most will never know the lengths exceeded to open that first facility door into a cancer hospital or acute care center. They are not supposed to know ‘how’ this was done; they are just to know in their hearts the difference they are making in a stranger’s life because of their animal. The absolute contentment knowing they actually saw a smile from someone who did not have many reasons to smile. They witnessed hands curled with arthritis reaching out to pet their Pet.
The need for caring and compassion, especially accompanied by a wagging tail will never end. In reaching out to others our lives are enriched beyond measure. This is something that cannot be measured in dollars and cents; it is much more valuable than that. It’s a Legacy you will leave for others to help them leave theirs. To make a difference in someone’s life is wonderful, far beyond measure and it truly ‘takes a village’