Citywide Banks next Facebook Fan Vote for its Quarterly Hand-Up Charity Donation will take place from September 8-20, 2011. The following is one of five charities that will be spotlighted leading up to this quarter’s Fan Vote.
Sometimes an organization does good on many fronts.
Consider: more than 30,000 dogs are euthanized each year. Untold numbers of teenagers need love and responsibility. Hundreds of war veterans, autistic children or otherwise disabled folks are on a waiting list for service dogs.
Founded nearly 25 years ago, Freedom Service Dogs marries all those needs. The Englewood non-profit rescues several hundred dogs a year from Colorado shelters, uses at-risk youth to train them, and provides them as service animals.
“We rescue dogs to free people and transform lives,” said Executive Director Sharan Wilson.
Wilson estimates training each dog costs $25,000 and takes a year. Graduate canines can pick up dropped items, open a refrigerator to get a bottle of water, and remove clothes from the dryer.
Specially trained for each client, some can serve as a counterweight to help veterans walk or stand up; others calm retired military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Indeed, these dogs provide freedom, security and companionship.
“We had a client say the dog is helping him find his old self again,” Wilson said. “He called his dog a gift from God.”
Freedom Service Dogs welcomes volunteers to groom and play with dogs and donations of dog treats, supplies and cash. Given $500, Wilson would buy a brace and balance harness for a veteran, a costly device that helps injured soldiers walk with a dog.
Freedom Service Dogs is one of five Denver charities nominated to receive Citywide Banks $500 Quarterly Hand-Up Donation. Ready to vote for the Freedom Service Dogs? Visit Citywide’s Facebook Fan Page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks and become a Fan by clicking the “Like” button. Fans will be eligible to vote for their charity choice from September 8 – 20, 2011. Stay tuned to this blog for spotlights on the other nominated charities.
Learn more about how to make your own cash donation or volunteer your time to Colorado’s own Freedom Service Dogs at www.FreedomServiceDogs.org.