At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 25: Paws & Think
Whether you’re a dog-person or not, you can’t help but appreciate the charitable works of the Indy-based non-profit Paws & Think- even the name is adorable. In the spirit of the popular television show “Pit Bulls & Parolees”, this organization works with at-risk children and adults as well as those with special needs to provide them with the companionship of an adorable pup. The human and dog connection is a powerful one, and it’s been proven time and time again to lift the spirits of both parties. Paws & Think is helping to make that very connection to those in need.
Through three main programs, this group of community-based volunteers work with everything from local schools and shelters, to detention and youth centers in order to help improve lives. Take their Youth-Canine Programs which work to bridge the gap between children who may struggle with their studies and the work itself. When dogs are introduced through a hands-on training program, the kids instantly become more engaged in their studies. After all, who wouldn’t want to show up at a school where you get to play with dogs. Through this program, the at-risk youth gain confidence and learn valuable skills that they’ll take with them throughout life. Paws & Think’s Pet Therapy program is another one that stands out. This one goes back to that special human-dog connection; when someone, especially a child, needs emotional support, they introduce a furry friend into their lives. This goes for those adults too who have suffered physical or emotional traumas, are hospitalized, going through rehabilitation or simply need someone to talk to. R.E.A.D. is another great program offered by the volunteers at Paws & Think. While this global organization is actually separate from them, they work closely together so as to provide a firm base for volunteers in training. Through the R.E.A.D. affiliate program, the dogs and their handlers visit schools and libraries where they’ll work directly with children to help with their social skills, reading skills and self-esteem.
P&T host a number of events throughout the year to keep Indy locals in the know about what they can do to not only give dogs a good home, but to donate to their cause as well. There’s everything from adoption events at the Uptown Pup kennel near Broad Ripple, to the Holiday Hound Wash where with a small donation to the cause you can use the professional wash stations at Pet Valu. As many breweries in Indy are opening up their doors to four-legged friends, Paws & Think are taking advantage by hosting meet and greets at Metazoa and even a recent Trick or Treat Halloween Pet Parade and Costume Contest at Flat12 Bierwerks.
Paws & Think are always seeking new volunteers to take part in their fun, furry programs. You can sign up on their website, and even make a donation to support their cause!