From: Plymouth, MA
Program: Assistance Dog
Minimum Goal: $8,000 | Amount Raised:$2,700
I am a clinical social worker and an adjustment counselor working in the Plymouth Public Schools. I have focused my career for the last 25 years working with vulnerable children with a range of challenges. Presently I am the clinician in a therapeutic program that focuses on offering support, education, and counseling for students who have not been able to reach their potential in the mainstream classroom. Each is unique and wonderful but struggle with issues ranging from learning disabilities to mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. The program is a safe and caring place where the students can explore their strengths and work on addressing things that challenge them.
When I worked as a therapist in a clinic, I worked with many children with histories of trauma and abuse. This is when I first saw success using animals as a catalyst to trust. I had one teenager that would refuse to talk to me and would sit in my office yelling profanity, saying she would never speak to me because I didn’t care about her. I didn’t want to give up on this hurting young person as I knew she was just in pain and did not trust most adults. I decided to try bringing my animals to make her feel more comfortable and help to find common ground with her. I used my kitten, my dog, and hamsters. I also allowed her to bring her own dog and we would take walks together. Within no time she engaged in therapy. She eventually moved away but ended up reaching out to tell me she was happy, reunited with her estranged father and going to college. I saw animals with their unconditional love and affection open up the most defended young people. Additionally, I know that my pets bring me joy, love, relaxation and stress relief on a daily basis.
I am so pleased and honored to finally be able to integrate both of my passions and bring an assistance dog into my clinical work. I have seen the impact that these animals offer all the people in the community and know that my canine partner will bring unconditional love and hope to all who come into contact with them.
I need to raise $8,000 of the $42,000 it costs to train these animals. No donation is too small. Any money that goes to this wonderful organization will benefit all the children and families that come into contact with this, and all of the other, canine companions from NEADs.
Thank you for anything that you can do.
Tracey Denelle, LICSW
On our donation form, pick the name of the client you want to sponsor under the Program Menu and check whether or not we can share your contact information with the client. Client fundraising totals are manually updated weekly (not automatically) which allows 100% of each donation to be allocated towards each client’s fundraising goal.