Right around the time LRN was introducing its support of #GivingTuesday, my brother’s service dog, Emmie, died suddenly, breaking a very special and important bond in my brother’s life. In 1991, my brother, Larry, became a quadriplegic. You can read more about his journey here: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/03/quadriplegia. For the last 10 years, Emmie has been a best friend, companion, and helper and brought immeasurable support, love, laughter and fun to my brother’s life and to our entire family. You can hear Larry talk about Emmie’s impact on his life in this short excerpt from a NPR interview:
Emmie’s loss – and its effects – continue to impact us today.
This is why I chose to support NEADS this #GivingTuesday.
NEADS, (National Education for Assistance Dog Services)
(also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans), is a non-profit organization that was established in 1976 to provide canine assistance for people who are deaf or have a disability. Today they serve combat veterans, children with disabilities, people who are deaf or have hearing loss, people with physical disabilities, children with autism, and the needs of the classroom, therapy and ministry.
After the loss of Emmie, I have been reflecting on the relationship between Larry and Emmie and humans and their canine partners. There are so many parallels to LRN’s work and our philosophy. These relationships are rooted in values: relationships based completely on trust; relationships founded on hope and promise; relationships that allow people freedom from disability and freedom to live a life without restraint; relationships that allow people to relate to the world in new ways; and most importantly, relationships about a deep purpose and mission: to allow humans to thrive and live their very best lives.
There are many ways to give this #GivingTuesday. This is merely my inspiration. What’s your inspiration?