A Boy Finds Family in Hand in Paw

TALES BLOG /A boy finds family in Hand in Paw

Those of us who are lucky enough to have a furry, four-legged friend know unconditional love, blind admiration, and steadfast loyalty.

Our animals are inherently driven to make us feel important, valued, understood, and most importantly loved. Animal companionship improves empathy, lowers stress, and generally promotes happiness.

Sadly, not all of us have experienced the benefits of animal companionship. Hand in Paw is working to change and improve the lives of Birmingham’s youth through our No More Bullying initiative. There are countless children in our community who could benefit from a Hand in Paw Therapy Team leading them in interactive group sessions which instill compassion, integrity and respect for themselves and others.

The following is a story about young boy who was involved in one of Hand in Paw’s violence prevention initiatives:

The boy was a resident of Glenwood who had no family and had never interacted with a dog before.  Timid, visibly anxious, and with a large scar on his face- a reflection of previous trauma- he was understandably slow to warm up to the Hand in Paw therapy team that would eventually change his life. As the program went on, the boy’s confidence and feeling of security grew and grew. He eventually expressed his love for the particular therapy team who visited him and said, “I feel like we all are a family.”  No longer did he feel threatened, unimportant, neglected, or alone.  

Through programs like No More Bullying many at risk youths are made to feel valuable, cared for, and loved. With such strong support from Hand in Paw and the community, the incredible potential of Birmingham’s youths can fully be realized. Without it many young people are left feeling isolated, anxious, unmotivated, and depressed ultimately hindering them from reaching their full potential.

YOU can change this. By supporting Hand in Paw, you are providing hope and healing to those who need it most. It is easy to make a difference by donating online, calling us at 205-322-5144, or sending us your gift in an envelope.

Please consider Birmingham’s at-risk youths and give generously this holiday season!

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