MacKillop Family Services is thanking the ‘pawsome’ support of its community for driving the Paws 4 Kids matched giving day past its $200,000 target.
MacKillop’s PawPals, a canine-assisted learning program, was introduced as a pilot program last year, to work with children living in residential or foster care, who may be dealing with complex issues that affect their capacity to learn.
Over 24 hours on Wednesday 6 March 2019, Paws 4 Kids raised more than $210,000 to train four dogs and two support workers to expand the program. Thanks to the generosity of donors, PawPals can now support up to 500 at-risk children to engage in education through MacKillop’s education outreach service.
Anne Henderson, Principal of the MacKillop Specialist School, is looking forward to expanding the reach of the program and has seen demand for PawPals far exceed current capacity,
“The impact of PawPals on children who find it difficult to engage with learning has been remarkable. We know that there are so many other children out there who struggle and Millie, our nine-year-old therapy dog, can only get to a small number of the children who need her.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported Paws 4 Kids, as well as the generous sponsors who matched donations; it has been a remarkable effort. Program staff are very excited at the thought of supporting more children through PawPals and planning is already underway to ensure curriculum and resources are in place to embark on the work ahead.”
Donations received on Paws 4 Kids day were multiplied by four from generous matchers to maximise the impact of the program.
Matchers included: Bob Stewart, Queensland Community Foundation’s Gordon Homes for Boys and Girls, Pet Stock Assist and Pawprints Matching Circle.