The FC Tucker Giving Circle was created to give agents and staff the opportunity to pool their donations as a group, nominate worthy local philanthropic organizations for funding, and then vote on which organizations to support. 33 incredible organizations applied for 2021 funding, and agents and staff selected nine to receive $81,000 in grants together.

Each month we showcase one of nine organizations to learn more about the amazing work they are doing in our communities.

Getting to know and think paws

What population of people and what geographic area does your organization serve?

Paws & Think serves Central Indiana, which includes the following counties: Marion, Hamilton, Madison, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, Hendricks, and Boone Counties.

Our programs serve:

  • Young people who are challenged academically or behaviorally; locked up; risk of suicide; or lack of a positive self-image.
  • Children and adults with physical, emotional or behavioral limitations/needs.
  • Seniors who face many challenges, including dementia, chronic illness or ongoing disabilities, and those who feel isolated, lonely and depressed.
  • Hospital patients and staff.
  • Children who have suffered trauma or are going through a loved one’s deal.
  • School-age children identified as vulnerable to wrestling at school.

What is the story of the founding of your organization?

Paws and Think, Inc. (Paws & Think) is an Indianapolis-based 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 with a mission to improve lives through the power of the human-canine connection. Over the past 19 years we have developed partnerships and programs for those most in need of the positive love and acceptance an animal can bring. Paws & Think focuses on the underprivileged and at-risk community, both humans and dogs. Our vision is to create a community where everyone who would benefit from a dog has the opportunity and where every dog ​​can fulfill their potential.

We do this through two proven methods: one of registering and providing human and canine volunteer teams for both animal assisted interventions, also known as pet therapy, for youth, seniors and individuals with special needs of all ages. The second method is our Youth-Canine programs that facilitate classes for vulnerable youth and teens and help them train shelter dogs with positive reinforcement behaviors.

What surprises people most about your organization?

The fact that we serve 60,000 people a year often surprises people. We are a fiscally small organization but use every dollar raised to reach as many people as possible. Paws & Think is a highly regarded organization and community partner. It is one of the largest organizations of its kind in central Indiana. The diversity of programs, memberships and partnerships with other non-profit organizations and government agencies.

What do recipients of your services say about your organization?

“The pet therapy we’ve gotten over the years through Paws and Think [at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital] means the world to Ellie and our family. Even when I might have had the heavy weight of caring for Ellie on my shoulders, and probably less than courteous or enthusiastic, these pets and their handlers have brought light and joy to the journey that I can’t quite put into words.

The love with which you all do your work is evident, and we cannot thank you enough!”

Ellie’s mother
(Quotation received October 2020)

If people want to volunteer at your organization, what’s their next step?

We can always use help with our Pet Therapy Training Classes and Evaluations. In addition, we are looking for people to help with our Youth-Canine programs, to become therapy teams with their dogs, and to serve on committees. With over 500 volunteers, our work is only possible thanks to our amazing volunteers.

More information at: legs involved/

Is there anything else you want readers to know?

2020 has been a dark year for many in our community. As the clouds rolled in, our therapy dogs and youth dog programs shone bright rays of hope and comfort on people experiencing their darkest moments. 2020 has been a dark year for many in our community. As the clouds rolled in, our therapy dogs and youth dog programs shone bright rays of hope and comfort on people experiencing their darkest moments. Your support is important because it means we can continue to do this work while adapting and overcoming obstacles in 2021. With your donation, you will ensure that our programming does not stop. You make sure the comfort, hope and light don’t stop. You ensure that everyone who needs it can still benefit from the scientifically proven methods of Animal Assisted Interventions. Thank you FC Tucker Giving Circle for making sure 2021 will be a little brighter.

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