Saturday, February 5, 2011

The inspiration behind Hand2Paw

Hand2Paw is just one program among many that has produced synergistic solutions by empowering disadvantaged individuals to take control of their futures. Here, we highlight two of our favorites, and encourage you to send us tips about others you find throughout the country and around the world! Programs like these are spreading like wildfire not only because they are mutually beneficial but also, in some cases, because they are vital to the wellbeing of their participants.

The original inspiration for Hand2Paw
, along with Back on My Feet (see below), was Puppies Behind Bars, a program that places Labrador puppies with inmates. This program empowers inmates to train these dogs to become service dogs for the disabled.

This program is incredible and benefits both parties. The inmates have all the time in the world to spend with the puppies, which provides them with the vital socialization and comprehensive training that they need. The inmates benefit by learning responsibility, patience, real skills, how to give and receive unconditional love, and how to work as a team.

Back on My Feet         

Founded in 2007 in Philadelphia
by a truly amazing woman named Anne Mahlum, this program promotes the self-sufficiency of the homeless population by encouraging them to run as a means to build confidence and achieve their goals. They have developed a comprehensive program that includes job connections, employment, and housing.

They now have chapters in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Chicago. Look how far they have come in only four years! Back on My Feet, you inspire us. Keep up the good work.

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