Sunday, January 18, 2015

NONPROFITS AND THERAPY ANIMALS


what do you do? i get that question a lot, and sometimes i hesitate to explain. i think, well how much time do you have? i studied nonprofit management, got a masters degree in the field, and then joined the workforce as a program coordinator in a nonprofit charitable organization. that much seems pretty straightforward. after that, things get a little more confusing. cuter, but confusing.

i work in animal therapy. actually, i coordinate thousands of volunteers in all 50 states and 15 different countries who volunteer in schools, pediatric hospitals, women's shelters, libraries, and rest homes. these sweet, trained, furry friends help children through physical therapy, support young people with learning disabilities, and visit stressed out college kids during finals week. research suggests that these four-legged therapists actually make a huge difference in the rehabilitation process and significantly decrease stress levels in medical facilities and schools. so that's what i do. i coordinate volunteers who cheer up kids with cancer and help young people with disabilities. pretty cool, eh?




in reality, most of my job is just your typical office work. paper pushing, typing on the computer, phone calls. however, i do get to cuddle up with lots of puppies... and occasionally scoop the litter box of our beloved office cat, oliver. i have worked with lots of nonprofit organizations over the last 5 years, but this one's events have been a learning experience. putting together the "winter games" at special olympics was a little bit different than organizing an animal therapy version of the nutcracker. okay, a lot different. 


there are lots of stresses, and tons of busy work. but i do get paid to help thousands of people in need - and not everyone can say that. plus, i have some sweet new fluffy friends.




so that's another piece of my life. in case you were interested.

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