Making an Impact
Giving Back & Community Social Responsibility
The community around us needs our help and if each of us takes small steps, we can make a huge difference. One non-profit Maggie’s Writing Service supports is Dogs For Our Brave (DFOB). They are a non-profit (501c3) headquartered in St Louis, MO that matches rescue dogs, trained as service dogs, with Veterans who incurred service-related disabilities.
DFOB provides lifetime financial support for the dogs they place with Veterans. The estimated price tag is $65,000 per dog. This includes food, medical care, service equipment and training. My goal is to raise $65,000 by the end of 2022 to support one dog & Veteran team.
I will donate 5% of all revenue in the form of cash, time or donated services.
Here’s an article I wrote for the printed neighborhood newsletter, Friends of Webster Groves. I hope you enjoy learning more about this wonderful organization. Reprinted here with the newsletter’s permission.
The Anniversary Gift that Continues to Save Lives
In 2013, Andy Gladstein was looking for the perfect anniversary gift for his wife, Marylynn. A Navy SEAL friend suggested donating a service dog to a disabled veteran. When Andy learned the expense involved with training and caring for service dogs, he knew he had to do more and Dogs for our Brave (DFOB) began.
Headquartered in the St Louis Dogtown Neighborhood, DFOB trains rescue dogs as service animals and places them with veterans who suffered service-related debilitating injuries.
DFOB works with the community to identify promising dogs between 1-2 years old. Training takes 18 months.
Gabby was one of the very first dogs to finish training and is matched with Chris Roseberry. Gabby helps Chris brace, retrieves items and even pushes buttons to open doors. When Chris is having nightmares, Gabby gives him puppy kisses until he wakes up and sits up. Straight from Chris, “She’s been amazing! She and I are the perfect fit.”
The dogs can do things like get juice for someone having a diabetic attack, pick up items and open doors. They learn to wait patiently under wheelchairs and tables. These dogs also help their owners with the effects of PTSD.
Each dog’s training includes specific physical and psychiatric support skills tailored for the individual veteran’s needs.
DFOB’s unique program provides financial support for the life of the service animal including food, equipment, veterinary care and pharmaceuticals.
DFOB continues training with annual visits. The veteran doesn’t have to pay a thing!
The estimated training and lifetime support for each dog at $65,000.
Chris Miller’s dog Zulu helps him with a variety of daily tasks and his emotional responses to PTSD. He shares, “Most importantly, Zulu is there for me when I am fighting the war within.”
You may be asking how you can help. Donations are always appreciated; cash or from their Amazon wish list at https://a.co/cRbNeD8.
But here are a couple of other ways you can help.
When you’re out in the community and you see a service dog, please don’t ask to pet it. Most service dogs wear vests or harnesses with patches showing they are a service dog.
The vest means the dog is at work, the same way you and I go to our jobs each day. And it can be hard, but help children understand this too.
In December 2020, DFOB made its newest match and sent service dog Mia to John Hayes in Florida. In 2010, John lost both legs from an explosive device. He’s looking forward to Mia’s help and regaining more independence.
If a service dog runs up to you without a person–please follow it. A person needs help, and the dog is asking you to be the one.
To learn more about Dogs for our Brave, check out their website www.dfob.org and their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DogsForOurBrave.