The theme for Integrated Project Management Company’s (IPM’s) quarterly philanthropic effort often stems from one employee’s personal experience. Such was the case in the third…
A service animal can provide independence, comfort, and safety for a person with a physical handicap, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other disability. To help defray the high cost of training service animals and support the efforts of organizations that provide them, Integrated Project Management Company made them the focus of the first-quarter Integrated Project Mercy project.
“We have a lot of veterans at IPM,” says Amani Alak, a Los Angeles-based project management consultant and co-lead of the effort, pointing to a personal connection. “Service dogs help veterans who have PTSD and people with other types of disabilities, too.”
Alak was one of the IPMers from the Los Angeles office who volunteered at DogFest, an educational fundraising event supporting Canine Companions for Independence, which trains and dispatches assistance dogs to people with disabilities. Members of the IPM family organized activities such as Easter egg coloring and a scavenger hunt, and they provided gift bags to the four-legged attendees. IPM’s creative dog kissing booth was a hit with kids and selfie-takers.
IPM volunteers in San Francisco supported Canine Companions by washing dogs at a Spa Day event and puppy-sitting at a Puppy Socialization Event and Ice Cream Social. “It took all 14 volunteers to keep track of eight tiny six-week-old puppies,” one volunteer laughed.
A group in the Chicago office handcrafted snuffle mats, which are used to train puppies. The mats benefited Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy, which trains dogs and their owners to provide comfort and facilitate healing for hospitalized special needs children and other patients.
In New Jersey, IPM volunteers looked out for the people benefiting from the dogs. At America’s VetDogs, veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities reside onsite while they are trained alongside their support animals. IPMers purchased and packed 100 welcome bags with supplies like toothbrushes and shampoo to make the families feel at home.
Minneapolis IPMers turned their efforts toward the volunteers who provide in-home training for Helping Paws, which places service dogs with people who have disabilities and veterans suffering from PTSD. The team purchased treats, dog shampoo and other items for the training volunteers and got to observe a training session with the dogs.
The Boston team pitched in to clean up the farm where Great Danes are trained to become service dogs for people with balance issues due to neurological diseases or war injuries. The Service Dog Project operates on a 12-acre farm and appreciated the help with their spring cleaning.
And St. Louis IPMers found a fun way to support CHAMP Assistance Dogs, which places dogs both with people with disabilities and with professionals in facilities like hospitals and courthouses. The group registered two teams for CHAMP’s Trivia Night and participated in the silent auction.