Making A Difference

 In Events, Facility Dogs, PPH San Antonio, South-Mid Region, Volunteers

How can I make a Difference in Injured Warriors’ Lives?

Paws for Purple Hearts originally began as a pilot program in association with Bergin College of Canine Studies in 2006. What started as a small program in the Menlo Park VA has since blossomed into a non-profit organization dedicated to providing top-tier service dogs and innovative therapeutic programming to our nation’s Veterans and Active Duty Service Members who suffer from mobility restrictions and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) resulting from stressors such as combat or Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

In 2017, Paws for Purple Hearts established operations in San Antonio, Texas.  Because of the hard work and dedication from our program instructors, relationships were established and have flourished resulting in multiple programs that help injured Warriors today right here in Central and South Texas.

One type of therapy provided at both the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic and Audie Murphy Memorial VA Hospital is Canine-Assisted Warrior Therapy®  (CAWT). Veterans who are involved in CAWT get to have hands-on interaction with our service-dogs-in-training and teach them commands required for all service dogs to know before they are placed with a Warrior who needs a helping paw. Through this structured programming, Veterans and Active Duty participants find relief from their symptoms and are encouraged to stay with the program because they are “paying it forward” by training a dog to be a service dog for one of their brothers or sisters in arms.

Noah and a veteran maneuver the obstacle course

So, how can YOU make a difference in our injured Veterans and Service Members lives?

  1. Spread the word! While advertising through typical media outlets is effective, it is not always effective for our limited budget. Word-of-mouth advertising is critical to our survival. Tell all your friends and family members about the important work Paws for Purple Hearts does for our military.
  2. Help your closest branch with fundraising! Paws for Purple Hearts is a non-profit organization, so we rely heavily on donations from individuals and businesses within the community. Most branches have at least one fundraiser a month. If you know of a fundraising strategy that has worked in the past, please let our advancement associates know.
  3. Go to our Facebook page or website to look at upcoming events for each of our sites.
  4. Stop by one of our events to say hello, ask questions, greet our dogs, and talk with the program instructors and advancement associates about the important work we do for Veteran and Service Member recovery and rehabilitation.
  5. Explore volunteer opportunitieswith your closest branch. There are always jobs to do-from exercising the dogs to doing basic facility repairs- no job is too small.
  6. Donate to our cause! Every little bit helps!
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