Nonprofit trains dogs to provide comfort at disaster sites, hospitals and many other locations
CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP, a leading audit, tax and advisory firm, has named Go Team Therapy, Airport and Crisis Dogs (Go Team Therapy Dogs) to its Purple Paladin initiative — a program that helps emerging nonprofit organizations move from ‘start-up to unstoppable.’ As part of the program, Grant Thornton provides funding, business advice and volunteer support, while also helping nonprofits raise awareness of their work and mission.
The goal of this newly-selected Purple Paladin is to produce well-trained therapy dogs and place them in programs and spaces where they can offer comfort, care and assistance to those in need.
“Go Team Therapy Dogs has an incredible and heartwarming mission — and we are confident the organization will continue lifting up people everywhere it serves,” said Brad Preber, CEO of Grant Thornton. “Dogs simply have a way of making the hardest situations easier, and that has never been more obvious than during the pandemic. My two golden retrievers have brought a smile to my face every day. Go Team Therapy Dogs understands the comfort these incredible animals can bring and has taken that ability to a highly-trained level that is simply inspiring.”
An organization born out of disaster
When the Waldo Canyon Fire devastated the Colorado Springs community and displaced 32,000 locals, Nancy Trepagnier knew she and her dogs could help. Trepagnier’s dogs, Tabor and Snickers, who were already trained therapy dogs, spent days bringing comfort, smiles and calm to distraught residents and exhausted first responders.
Inspired by the peace her dogs created, Trepagnier launched Go Team Therapy Dogs. Now, her team trains dogs for a wide variety of settings, including disaster sites, assisted living homes, schools, airports and hospitals. And unlike other programs, all dog breeds are welcome to apply. Trepagnier believes all dogs can offer care and comfort in times of crisis.
“Most people can understand firsthand the natural ability dogs have to comfort people,” Trepagnier said. “With their families, that can be as simple as cuddling up on the couch or playing fetch in the backyard. But when it comes to crises and sensitive environments, that takes true training. And Grant Thornton — a firm full of highly-trained humans — understands and shares this vision, for people and pups alike.”
To learn more about Go Team Therapy Dogs, visit www.grantthornton.com/PurplePaladins. To donate to Go Team Therapy Dogs, visit www.goteamdogs.org/ways-to-give.
Go Team Therapy Dogs joins eight other nonprofits that Grant Thornton previously selected as Purple Paladins: Find Your Anchor, Foster Nation, Hope in a Box, Weird Enough Productions, Invisible Hands Deliver, Pal Experiences, Sneakers for Soldiers and Coming Up Rosies.
- Find Your Anchor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on suicide prevention. To help people who are struggling to find hope, the organization creates and distributes boxes of curated items known as “anchors.” Each box includes a deck of cards titled “52+ Reasons to Live,” a list of suicide prevention resources and posters with hopeful messaging. To learn more, visit www.findyouranchor.us.
- Foster Nation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps former foster youth overcome the challenges associated with ‘aging out’ of the foster-care system. To learn more, visit: www.fosternation.org.
- Hope in a Box is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides educators with literature, detailed curriculums and coaching to improve classroom environments for LGBTQ+ students. To learn more, visit: www.hopeinabox.org.
- Weird Enough Productions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that develops free, interactive online content designed to combat media misrepresentations of minority communities. The organization is best known for its hallmark comic book series, “The UnCommons.” To learn more, visit: www.weirdenough.com.
- Invisible Hands Deliver is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that taps more than 12,000 volunteers to deliver groceries, prescriptions and other necessities to people vulnerable to COVID-19 — including the elderly, disabled and immunocompromised. To learn more, visit: www.invisiblehandsdeliver.org.
- Pal Experiences is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people with non-visible disabilities — such as autism — have more inclusive experiences at museums, entertainment venues and sporting events. To learn more, visit: www.palexperiences.org.
- Sneakers for Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides properly-fitted athletic shoes to deployed combat troops in all branches of the military. To learn more, visit: www.sneakersforsoldiers.org.
- Coming Up Rosies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides “smile kits” to hospitals so children — particularly those suffering from hair loss — can engage in therapeutic art activities to create custom head scarves, neck scarves and superhero capes based on their own unique designs. To learn more, visit: www.cominguprosies.com.
Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a champion of a cause. Grant Thornton and its professionals have donated more than $450,000 for Purple Paladin nonprofits, and more than 350 Grant Thornton professionals have volunteered support to the firm’s Purple Paladins.
To learn more about Purple Paladins, or to nominate a nonprofit for potential support, visit Grant Thornton’s website: www.grantthornton.com/PurplePaladins.
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