Pals For Life is a non-profit organization located in Wayne, PA and dedicated to providing companion animal programs to people who need them. They bring animals into senior centers and rehab facilities. Pals For Life also provides Read to Rover programs, where dogs are brought to libraries and schools so that children improve their literacy skills and self-esteem by reading to pets. They have also started bringing pets to college campuses to provide stress relief during exams.
In 2008 I had a near death accident. After the ICU, trauma ward and weeks of home care I was sent to a rehab facility for cognitive, physical, speech and vestibular therapies. Rehab was a dark place. People have gone through bad things that have brought them there. Accidents, strokes, stabbings and other traumas. They have to relearn to walk, to talk, to think and to interact with people. Its hard. And depressing. And of course necessary. But for an occasional breakthrough there is very little to bring a smile to your face.
And then there were the Wednesday morning visits from therapy dogs. The big eyes. The wagging tails. The unconditional love. And patients who sat blankly looking at walls would interact with the dogs. And patients who yelled at staff angrily everyday would interact with the dogs. And rehab was a much happier place on Wednesdays. Some days it took everything I had to will myself out of bed. But my own dogs were always there faithfully by my side to push me along, give me a reason to smile. Seeing the therapy dogs bring so much joy to the patients, including myself, made me think that when I was in a better place in my own life I would want to volunteer my time to an organization that brings pets into such facilities. Fast forward to late 2010 when I contacted Paula Kielich, the Founder and Director of Pals for Life. I have been involved with the organization since.
Pals for Life has 2 big annual fundraisers at the Waynesborough County Club. In October there is a Bow Wow Luau benefit. In March there is a Bow Wow Bingo event. This event is coming up soon on March 2. There is food, prizes, drinks, bingo, and you can even bring your pet and enjoy the night together! If you are interested in attending, sponsoring a bingo game or offering a donated prize, please reach out to the organization at the contact info listed below. There will also be a shopping day on March 27th to benefit Pals for Life at The Little House Shop in Wayne where a portion of the day’s proceeds will go to this worthy non-profit. In addition, Pals for Life is always looking for volunteers to assist with the pet visits, in kind donations of cat food and cat litter, bunny food & hay and dog treats (not food). They are also looking for speakers available to give talks to clubs. And you can get involved in your own community by holding a car wash, dog wash or bake sale to raise money for Pals for Life.