The holidays are approaching, decorations and advertisements adorning shopping malls, emails and websites alike are constantly reminding us to purchase more and celebrate fiercely. When seemingly every message around us is screaming, “Buy more… You need this!” It is easy to forget the importance of giving back. The festive season has become a consumer’s paradise, saturated with words reminding us of all the things that we don’t have. Implications being made in 1,001 different ways that once we’ve attained another product, our life will improve. It is easy, amidst this abundance of marketing strategy, to neglect being thankful for the blessings in our life in favor of seeking gratification in material objects.
GivingTuesday is a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities.” It takes place one day every year and will be occurring on November 30th this year. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as an initiative based around encouraging people to do good. It serves as an opportunity to disconnect from the jungle of seasonal consumerism in order to make a positive impact on the world. GivingTuesday is about giving back, and harnessing the collective mentality of sharing something that each of us can offer our communities.
Highland Canine Connect is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works within the community to create fulfilling and engaging connections between dogs and humans. The mission of HCC is to “transform lives through the power of canine connections. We conduct innovative research, provide essential education and create partnerships to serve both the canine community and people.”
This organization strives to better lives by offering service dog donations to individuals in need, police K9 donations to underfunded units, community educational programs, school reading programs for children and innovative research projects aimed at improving the overall wellbeing of our communities.
Over the past couple of years, Highland Canine Connect has established partnerships with five local elementary schools, all who are recipients of the non-profit’s School Reading Program: a program which enables service dog candidates and volunteers to assist students with their reading development skills. HCC has also partnered with one local middle school, to whom they deliver monthly educational presentations in order to help students learn how to better understand dogs and how to work with them, in addition to providing valuable career direction and resources for those who are considering pursing a career in dog training.
The organization has also partnered with Rainbow Kidz grief counseling provided by Hospice, and will be harnessing the healing power of dogs in order to help improve the lives of grieving children who have lost their loved ones.
Highland Canine Connect has big goals for the future. The organization aspires to fully train and donate more service dogs to the large number of applicants who can’t afford a service dog but desperately need one. Parents with autistic children, elderly individuals with severe mobility or stability hinderances, critically ill patients who require a service dog simply to function on their own and veterans suffering from service related psychological and physical ailments are just some of the people who HCC helps. They plan to have more police K9s trained and donated so that they can provide handlers and units the help that they need when they cannot fund it themselves. HCC also is working to certify and train more volunteers so that they can expand their educational programs in schools throughout North Carolina, in addition to expanding research and development projects aimed at improving the understanding of the canine-human connection and how dogs can help make the world a better place.
The relationship between humans and dogs has been critical to the development of society for thousands of years. This relationship has become more than a bond; it has become a partnership sealed by the unconditional bonds of love. The studies conducted regarding a dog’s ability to improve human health and wellbeing are countless, and the almost supernatural ability that dogs have to understand humans is unlike any other in the animal kingdom. HCC is dedicated to helping society understand and improve this relationship, for humans and dogs alike.
This GivingTuesday, truly make a difference in the world by helping to provide our communities with the life changing power of dogs. Your donations make a powerful difference. Every donation received is critical in the furthering of the HCC mission. Improve the lives of those in need – partner with us this November 30th to make a difference.