Hand in Paw opens public campaign thanks to $500k gift by Ken Jackson

Hand in Paw assisted therapy dog with child
via HIP

After a generous gift of $500K by Mr. Ken Jackson, Hand in Paw is opening their campaign to the public. The campaign is raising money to build new headquarters, so that Hand in Paw can serve the Birmingham community at a greater capacity.

History of Hand in Paw
assisted therapy dog from Hand in Paw with child
via HIP

In 1996, Beth Franklin created Hand in Paw to bring Animal Therapy Teams to the city of Birmingham. Soon, with Beth’s vision, Animal Therapy Teams became a familiar sight in area hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and rehabilitation facilities.

The mission of Hand in Paw is to improve human health and well-being through Animal-Assisted Therapy. Utilizing over 150 volunteers, Hand in Paw certainly carries out that mission. They reach over 97,000 clients annually and work with 100 partnering facilities.

Ken Jackson, an avid animal lover, has supported Beth’s organization since its beginning in 1996.

Ken’s Gift

Recently, Ken Jackson made a donation of $500,000 to the campaign for Hand in Paw’s new headquarters. He made an early gift of $100,000, but later added $400,000 t0 name the building for longtime friend (and Hand in Paw’s founder) Beth Franklin.

Bham Now asked Ken about the motivation behind his large donation:

“I’ve observed numerous Hand in Paw pet partner visits, and although the humans (usually small) were different, the animals responded appropriately, and usually with such an emotional impact, that I was frequently brought to tears. People with animal passion understand.”

Ken Jackson and Jed the therapy dog
Ken Jackson and Jed the therapy dog via HIP

“There are so many organizations waiting to have visits. The new facility will increase training capabilities and allow even more teams to touch more humans.”

In previous years, Ken conducted live auditions for Hand in Paw’s signature fundraiser Picasso Pets. He also served as a member of Hand in Paw’s Advisory Council.

“I am humbled and honored by Ken Jackson’s gift to name the renovated and expanded Hand in Paw building after me. Ken has supported Hand in Paw since its inception, and his generosity makes it possible to serve considerably more people through the love of our skilled therapy handlers and animals.”

-Beth Franklin, founder of Hand in Paw.

Hand in Paw’s Public Campaign
Hand in Paw new building plan
The new headquarter’s plan via HIP

Currently, Hand in Paw has raised $1.4 million, bringing them close to their goal of $2 million. After Ken’s gift, the campaign is opening to the public.

Laura Cardwell, Executive Director of Hand in Paw, commented on the significance of the new headquarters:

“We are excited about the future of Hand in Paw.  Our new headquarters will allow us to train and manage Therapy Teams at a rate that meets the community’s demand. The difficult truth is that we have a very long waiting list awaiting our programs, and the requests continue.  This challenge is what makes expansion so crucial, and Ken’s gift so special.”

Early gifts of $25K or more have been given by the following organizations:

  • Frank and Philippa Bainbridge
  • The Charles T. Campbell Foundation
  • Children’s of Alabama
  • Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham
  • The Daniel Foundation of Alabama
  • Pete M. Hanna Charitable Foundation
  • Kathryn and Raymond Harbert
  • Sheryl and Jon Kimerling
  • Lynn and Benny LaRussa
  • Jim and Katie Lasker
  • Linn-Henley Charitable Trust
  • Thompson Foundation

If you or someone you know are interested in fundraising for or donating to Hand in Paw’s public campaign, then visit this link!

Hand in Paw's assisted therapy dog with children
via HIP

Come on, Birmingham, let’s raise the money Hand in Paw needs for their new headquarters. They’re such a paws-itvely pawsome organization!

Kayleigh Hudson
Kayleigh Hudson
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