Ready to join The Pack? It’s more than adorable dogs—you’ll bring joy through special programs


DSC 0014 Ready to join The Pack? It's more than adorable dogs—you'll bring joy through special programs
Hand in Paw transitioned many of their programs virtually this past year, but they still had the same great impact. Photo via Hand in Paw

How much return on investment did you really get binging that Netflix series this weekend? For the same price as a subscription to a streaming service, join The Pack, Hand in Paw’s (HIP) monthly giving community, and uplift Birmingham citizens through animal-assisted therapy. Discover why we’re mutts about the program.

Hand in Paw keeps tails wagging + faces smiling through the pandemic

Yes, the cause is adorable, but it’s also vital to improving the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. HIP trains qualified animals and their owners to work in a therapeutic setting—aiding in education, stress relief and more.

Whether that looks like using innovative initiatives to assist children with special needs, at-risk youth or struggling students, HIP puts happiness back into people’s day-to-day lives.

When you join The Pack, you donate monthly at whatever amount you’re comfortable with. Your contribution expands these crucial programs. It could be the price you spend on a latte once a week or higher. No matter the amount, it’s helping Therapy Teams bring light into people’s day.

We’re ready to join The Pack, how about you?

join The Pack
We’re doggone proud to have this nonprofit in Birmingham. For more ways to see how HIP is serving citizens through the pandemic, visit their website. Photo via Hand in Paw

Just like when you join a real pack, HIP has your back. They let you know exactly how you’re dollars are contributing to their mission.

Additionally, you’ll also get these amazing benefits when you sign up:

  • A welcome kit that includes a special gift, just for you
  • An annual mailer that will feature pertinent updates and highlights
  • A bi-annual e-blast with statistics and mission moments to show how you continuously make a difference

Melanie Lewis has been working with HIP since 2017 and joined The Pack in 2020. Since she works in the healthcare field, Melanie sees first-hand the impact a therapy team can have in hospitals. Giving is a no-brainer for her.

“When I learned of The Pack program, it was a perfect fit for me because it was so easy.  I could choose any amount to donate per month (even $5.00 per month makes a difference! ) and it would automatically be deducted from my account, so I didn’t even have to think about it. 

For busy people like me, it gave me confidence that I could provide on-going support for the organization’s programs, without having to remember to write a check every month…. Hand in Paw does a great job of keeping you up to date on what’s going on within the organization throughout the year because you are now part of a very special group!  It’s really nice to see your money in action!”

Melanie Lewis, Vice President of Business Development, Encompass Health

The paws-abilities are endless for why you should join The Pack

Unknown 2 1 1 rotated Ready to join The Pack? It's more than adorable dogs—you'll bring joy through special programs
Virtual Bingo with the Exceptional Foundation. Photo via Hand in Paw

Nothing about HIP’s mission has changed, only how they’re carrying out these paw-some services. Let’s take a look at only a few of the many ways they’ve continued to serve Birmingham through webcams and wags.

UAB healthcare workers received VIP dog-tor visits

We don’t always know the proper way to verbalize our thanks to healthcare workers, but luckily a dog is worth a thousand words. UAB staff received some much-need stress relief from virtual hospital visits at UAB’s COVID-19 intensive care unit.

Through these visits, our brave healthcare workers could find a smile in their day and communicate with the Therapy Teams.

Virtual Sit, Stay, Read sessions were a real page turner

Because who’s less judgemental than a dog? We already know when COVID-19 hit last spring it made a big impact on education.

The Sit, Stay, Read virtual visits provided a judgment-free zone for struggling students to read aloud to furry friends and their caring handlers via Zoom or Google Meet. These visits relieved anxiety and stress when practicing their literacy skills, especially for students who are not familiar with the English language.

School’s Best Friend Visits earned an A+

Therapy Team Lanette and Ginger were not denied a teachable moment. Normally, Ginger would wear an activity vest during a self-contained classroom visit. For the virtual visits, HIP created activity placements for the kids to use.

“We were so pleased to have Pizitz Middle School students tackle a Life Skills learning activity through observing Ginger and I as we went demonstrated our ‘Get up and Out the Door’ routine. The students, individually & proudly, shared with Ginger and me each of their own daily routines that they had organized with word cards on their activity mats. 

The objective of this activity was to have the students enjoy watching the fun and funny things I can do with Ginger to get her ‘out the door’ but also made them each think about this life skills routine as a process and about the ordering of the process steps.”

Lanette, Therapy Team Lanette and Ginger, Hand in Paw

Animal-assisted education, like the visit with Lanette and Ginger, is motivational for students in-need. These types of programs through HIP can help improve social skills, make children more comfortable processing trauma and sharpen motor skills. Join The Pack to help continue providing these services.

“Hand in Paw has truly captured my heart. It only takes one visit with a therapy team to a hospital, nursing home, or school to realize what a difference this organization is making in the lives of others. 

If you have a furry friend at home, you probably understand just how comforting, patient and loving an animal can be.  Take that and multiply it by thousands to understand the impact HIP can have in a community.”

Melanie Lewis, Vice President of Business Development, Encompass Health

Join The Pack and invest in the lives of your Birmingham community members. To learn more, follow Hand in Paw on Instagram and Facebook or visit their website.

Sponsored by:

Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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