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A Busy Holiday Season for Paws for Purple Hearts, Washington

 In General, News, PPH Blog

Despite being the youngest of the site, our Lakewood facility manages to keep busy out in the community, and this holiday season is no exception.

With the advent of Advent and a very young Service Dog in Training (#pphOlivia!) joining the team, Paws for Purple Hearts Washington has been out and about in the community on plenty of fun field trips, events, and volunteer opportunities.

To start, Paws for Purple Hearts Washington was chosen by REI to be their organization during the month of November to raise funds for. We were surprised with the funds by their outreach coordinator, Danielle Anderson. This gift was greatly appreciated, thank you REI!

Thank you REI for your generous donation to us!

Our Trainers and their Marketing and Communications Specialist (MCS) had the privilege to take part in the Lakewood Christmas Parade! Due to the weather being wetter and colder than anticipated, our Service Dogs in Training stayed home and warm. It’s never fun to exclude them, but their safety and wellness is paramount to their training! Nevertheless, the humans braved the cold and wet and made it a parade to remember!

Washington Staff and Service Dogs in Training also took a long field trip to the Seattle Christmas Market! While there, the dogs got to experience the sites, sounds, and smells of a market. Despite there being plenty of tantalizing food, our Service Dogs in Training resisted temptation! They were even rewarded a free bandana from a vendor. 

Pivoting to civic service, our MCS, Sonja, visited with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Girl Scout Troop (Troop 43595) to paint paw print ornaments and make Christmas cards for the Washington Soldier’s Home. While there, she gave a presentation to the Girl Scouts on what Service Dogs and Service Dogs in Training do, as well as the best practices for interacting with them out in public. The girls had a great time, and got to leave their meeting with an ornament, new knowledge of Service Dogs, and plenty of PPH swag!

An adorable image of a round Christmas ornament painted with a rainbow and dog paw print by girl scouts.
Girl Scout Troop 43595 painted beautiful ornaments to take home!

Our Washington site volunteered at the USO at Sea-Tac Airport on December 15 to wrap Christmas gifts for travelers, as well as share the presence of a few of their Service Dogs in Training. This is a wonderful activity for our Service Dogs in Training, as it exposes them to a bustling airport during the busiest season of the year, as well as gives us a chance to give back to service members and their families in a meaningful way.

As for upcoming public events, catch us at the Tacoma Night Market this weekend! We will be hosting a booth there with our dogs for people to meet, and plenty of information for anyone who would like to get involved with volunteering. We are looking forward to expanding our reach in a part of Tacoma we don’t frequent often.

To give a present to one of our Service Dogs in Training, visit our Amazon Wishlist! If you’re interested in donating to Paws for Purple Hearts in general, you can do so here! Donations and gifts go directly to supporting our programs, and in turn, support our Nation’s Warriors!

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