September 2018 Charity Spotlight: Paws for Purple Hearts
Paws for Purple Hearts (PPH) improves the lives of America’s warriors. Since 2008, PPH has served veterans facing mobility challenges and trauma-related conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury by providing them with high-quality service dogs. Whenever possible, PPH enlists the help of veteran volunteers to actively train these service dogs for their injured comrades.
Paws for Purple Hearts was among the first programs to offer Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy(also referred to as Canine Assisted Therapeutic Intervention). This approach optimizes the therapeutic benefit to veterans with various physical and emotional challenges. Veterans with PTSD are taught to train service dogs for comrades with physical disabilities and combat-related injuries.
PPH adheres to the following PAWS core values in the work they do with veterans and active-duty military personnel:
Professional – We maintain the highest standards in all we do.
Adaptable – We innovate and create to exceed the needs of America’s Warriors.
Warriors – Our #1 focus: America’s Veterans and Service Members.
Service – We eagerly get the job done for internal and external customers alike.
Pets have proven health and therapeutic benefits: reducing stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure, increasing positive feelings. Recent studies show that the simple act of stroking a dog’s fur prompts the release of the "feel good" hormone, oxytocin, in both humans and in dogs. This hormone release promotes feelings of bonding and well-being, and PPH’s therapy programs are built on this important science.
Paws for Purple Hearts serves veterans in Alaska, San Francisco, San Diego, Virginia, and Texas. Service dogs are placed with eligible veterans facing a variety of mobility and trauma-related challenges. Trained dogs assist with tasks like retrieving items, pushing buttons for elevators and doors, turning lights on/off, bracing to help move from/to wheelchairs, navigating stairs, and many more.
If you are a veteran in need of services and live near a Paws for Purple Hearts location, keep in mind that PPH’s life-changing services are 100% free of charge. If you are interested in serving as a PPH volunteer, please consider becoming a PPH Puppy Petter, Puppy Pet Facilitator, Puppy Parent, or a general volunteer - there are many ways to help!
Each month, 4Knines shines a light on a non-profit making a difference, and we are proud to spotlight the amazing work of Paws for Purple Hearts. If you are not able to volunteer, please join 4Knines by supporting PPH a monetary donation, by purchasing an item from their Amazon Wish List, or by selecting Paws for Purple Hearts as your preferred charity in your Amazon Smile account.
“The whole point of Paws for Purple Hearts is that it builds on the time-honored tradition of soldiers giving a hand to other soldiers, just like we did on the battlefield together.”