Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? A season to celebrate and appreciate all the hard work and time that volunteers give year-round. At Hand in Paw, volunteers are the backbone of our organization and their dedication and commitment to our mission is unsurpassed. Without their enthusiasm and resolve, we would not exist!
Here are just a few reasons Hand in Paw Therapy Team volunteers are the very best in the biz’!
Becoming a Therapy Team doesn’t happen overnight and the road to becoming a HIP Team is different for every aspiring Handler and their therapy partner. To ensure that Hand in Paw visits are safe and effective, there are certain prerequisites that our potential teams must meet as well as trainings and evaluations our teams must pass. The process takes time and diligence, and volunteers must commit to working with their pet to become a registered Therapy Team. Therefore, we consider Hand in Paw Volunteers “para-professionals.”
We are often asked why the iconic Hand in Paw doggie bandanas are gold – well, it is not only because the bright color is noticeable, but also because Hand in Paw Therapy Teams have Hearts of Gold! Their compassionate hearts give to Hand in Paw in so many ways outside of just making therapeutic visits to people in need. Many of our Therapy Teams also volunteer their time at events, donate funds, and even help advocate for Hand in Paw in our community.
Most importantly, HIP Therapy Teams selflessly visit clients in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and other human service organizations, donating their time and energy to help others. They are heroes to people of all ages dealing with emotional and physical life challenges and bring comfort and joy to people across Central Alabama and Tuscaloosa. Without our Therapy Teams, we would not be able to accomplish our mission to improve human health and well-being through Animal-Assisted Therapy and Animal-Assisted Education.
We hope that all our HIP Therapy Teams reading this blog feel appreciated, respected, and loved. We hope our supporters feel inspired by the generosity of our volunteers! Hand in Paw is so grateful for our Therapy Teams every single day of the year – not just during National Volunteer Month! To learn more about becoming a Therapy Team with Hand in Paw, please visit us online or email Stacey Roudebush!