Yesterday, I presented all the June Bucket Fund receipts which showed our payment for all of Kate’s medical expenses as well as paying the Hoogerhyde’s equine hospital expenses (they are the neighbor who lost the initial horse who was injected with gasoline) – and after all of that, we still had $1000 left over! (You can see those receipts here.)
Well, the largest single donor to Kate had donated more than $1000 so I felt it only fair to ask them what they would like me to do with the excess funds…
She told me: K9s FOR WARRIORS!
K9s FOR WARRIORS
With so much passion, the donor told me:
–K9s for Warriors train dogs that were rescued from shelters
–One woman and her husband started this program from scratch
–She did it because her son came home from military service with PTSD
–The military personnel that receive these trained dogs, don’t pay a dime for the service
–K9s for Warriors has a year long waiting list
I LOVE THIS – THE COURAGE TO BUILD IT!
For me, I love the inspiration and commitment in this endeavor.
K9s For Warriors in the brainchild of one woman who wanted to help her son, a veteran with PTSD, and other returning warriors. She also loved dogs…
So she built it.
And they came.
The Duvals (Founders) used their own money to get it going… blood sweat and tears. And now, they have such fulfillment.
The dogs need rescue and they in turn rescue the warriors.
BREAKING GROUND ON A NEW FACILITY
Presently, K9s for Warriors has just broken ground on a new facility that will allow for more Warriors to stay on the premises and go through training.
If you’d like to read more and help, click here.
Here is a statement from the Founders:
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS…TOO.
I found this tidbit on the website… there are volunteers in the neighborhood who cook HOME COOKED MEALS for all the warriors who stay at the facility while training. Wow.
I mean, sure, the animal may be free to the warrior, but he/she has to be able to stay in Florida for the three weeks of training. That could be expensive. But, since lodging is available at the Center and the Volunteers create homemade meals for the warrior, that financial stress is addressed.
AN INTERVIEW WITH SHARI, THE FOUNDER OF K9S FOR WARRIORS.
I am always interested in people who start charitable movements from scratch with their own money… that is my dream.
So, I contacted Shari and asked a few questions. She was most generous and kind with her time and her answers…
1) This endeavor must have had roadblocks – what kept you going during the initial phase of growth?
The only road block was financial, and my Husband and I personally funded our endeavor until we could gain supporters.
How did you proceed with this idea you had and build it into what it is now?
The initial idea took over a year on paper to get started, that was the longest part. All the IRS filing, paperwork, lawyers, etc. The program works, so it is easy to succeed. I have a great team working for me and keeping all the moving parts going.
2) You must work 18 hours a day… what is your favorite part of your day?
I do work long hours, but seeing the veterans improve daily in our program makes it all worthwhile.
3) Has there been one dog that you always think about? Why?
Actually yes. One of our first dogs that we placed, I personally rescued him. He had such a sad look in his eyes, and when I touched him he melted into my side. We bonded immediately, I named him Stryker, and I will never forget him. But there are many many more that touch my heart, and each dog is different, just like people. Stryker now loves in Oregon, and I hope I get to see him again.
4) Do you have a particular success story with one of your teams?
There are so many, so many. But one gal that suffered PTSD from military sexual trauma could not even speak when she came to us. When she did speak she stuttered badly. She broke my heart. Fast forward 1 1/2 years with her golden retriever Chauncey, she has graduated from College (associate’s degree) , President of her toast masters group, back being a mama and a wife. Another Marine was shot nine times on three different occasions, yet he credits K9s For Warriors for saving his life. The physical wounds healed up, but the invisible wounds were very deep.
5) How did you life experiences finally ‘all add up’ to make the perfect combination for you to be
successful in this mission?
There is no doubt that at my “age”, I was able to draw on my life experiences, and have more patience, knowledge, compassion, and it was easy to “give back”, my life has been very blessed.
FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK!