Trailblazers 2021

Page 62





CHARITY Hand in Paws



WORK Pitney Bowes


MOTIVATION I began my journey with Hand in Paw when I witnessed the magical effect a Therapy Team had on a friend’s son who was going through chemotherapy at Children’s of Alabama. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to volunteer with HIP and make a difference in children’s lives through Animal-Assisted Therapy. A few years later, our family welcomed a beautiful English Cream Golden Retriever named Kenzi into our lives. Now an Advanced Therapy Team, Kenzi and I visit Children’s of Alabama regularly. After seeing the excitement and smiles that Kenzi brings to children, I can’t imagine a better way to volunteer my time and resources. Not only do I get a lot out of it, but every time Kenzi puts on her HIP scarf, and we pull into the Children’s of Alabama parking deck, she gets excited and starts whining, wanting to get out of the car and see the kids. POSITIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM 2021 Virtual Visits- Just like other businesses and nonprofits, COVID-19 has challenged HIP to think outside the box. HIP put together a strategy to move forward during the pandemic. When schools moved to virtual learning, that strategy included a focus by Hand in Paw on literacy through its Sit, Stay, Read program. Working from home with your pet. It’s no secret that our pups are thrilled to have us working from home, and it sure doesn’t hurt to have a little more canine companionship in our lives these days.