The impact of Project POOCH’s program reaches farther than just the dogs and youth at MacLaren. We recently learned awesome news of a special dog, who, while not a direct participant in our program at MacLaren, was indeed touched by the work we do.
Dodger came to our attention a few years ago when Project POOCH youth, “Bud”1 transitioned to a facility in Florence, Oregon. The skills Bud learned at Project POOCH landed him a work-release job at the Florence Area Humane Society (FAHS), where he met the not-so-artful Dodger. Bud worked with Dodger, completed his program and eventually moved. Because POOCH Alum were working with Dodger, we listed his profile among our available dogs…
…Sadly, not every dog has his day as quickly as we hope. Dodger remained at the FAHS facility while Project POOCH helped him gain more exposure through our website…
Fast forward to 2016…
Recent POOCH Alum, S. is relocated to the same program in Florence. Because of his work at Project POOCH, he too was given the opportunity to work with the dogs at FAHS. One of those dogs was of course, Dodger. S. ramped up Dodger’s training, and as a result of Dodger’s improved skills and behaviors, Dodger was moved to a facility in a more populated area. Within a couple of weeks, Dodger’s dream of a family and comfy, loving home, finally came true!
We are so happy for Dodger, and for S. who never gave up on him, worked with him, loved him, and helped him along his journey to happiness and success. A journey, paralleled by that of S. himself. To say this youth is happy is an understatement. When we spoke with S. on the phone, you could hear the pride and joy in his voice, and the HUGE smile across his face when he talked about Dodger. And of course, Dodger’s smile says it all. That, is indeed priceless!
This is an example of how a village came together to help a dog finally find a loving home to call his own. We are so honored to have been a part of Dodger’s success, and because of your support, POOCH Youth like Bud and S., are able to pay it forward as they move forward in their lives. THANK YOU for helping POOCH Youth and Dodger fulfill their dreams. Together, our “village” has made a difference and had a huge impact on society!
You ARE making a difference and effecting lifelong positive change in the lives of the youth and dogs who are impacted by Project POOCH. Thank you for all the support you have given. We are so grateful and lucky to call you our friend.
Wednesday, March 16th, is a GlobalGiving Bonus Day where YOUR gift will be matched! If you haven't had the opportunity to make a gift in a while or would like to make another life-changing gift, we would greatly appreciate it. EVERY gift makes a difference – and makes dreams come true!
Thank YOU again from all of us at Project POOCH!
1Due to confidentiality, names have been changed to preserve anonymity.
In our reports, we share stories of recent successes about a dog, or a youth, and their road to a better life. Today, we want to share a slightly different story as we end 2015. It is one that is 20 years in the making. It is this kind of story that really shines a light on the success and lasting impact of our unique and groundbreaking program at Project POOCH.
What many of you may not know is that in 1993 when Project POOCH began, we were the first program of our kind in the country for youth offenders.
We know from previous studies that at the time of the study NONE of the youth who had gone through our program had reoffended. We like data just as much as the next person. BUT, it is the personal stories and words that mean the most to us. It’s the people and dogs whose lives we impact whether it be a youth who graduated from Project POOCH, a dog who's finally found their forever home, or a family who’s found love through adopting one of our pawesome dogs.
This holiday season, we wanted to share this short, but heartwarming note we recently received from a former POOCH Youth:
“I was part of Project POOCH (positive opportunities, obvious change with hounds) in the 90’s. I just want to say thank you for the opportunity, the guidance, the instruction, and most of all, the trust.
My most loved & cherished memory is of my dog, Cozer. He was my buddy, my pal, and my best friend.
I send my sincere appreciation and gratitude. Keep our amazing program going so that “troubled” youth have a reason to wake up every morning.”
You are making a difference and effecting lifelong positive change in the lives of those who are affected by Project POOCH. Thank you for all the support you have given. We are so grateful and lucky to call you our friend.
It means the world to us, the dogs, and the youth to know they have you in their corner, championing their success in a world where many have given up on them. If you haven't had the opportunity to make a gift in a while or would like to make another life-changing gift, there's still time in 2015. EVERY gift makes a difference.
Thank YOU and HAPPY HOLIDAYS from all of us at Project POOCH!
Project POOCH was thrilled to host GlobalGiving staff members, Donna Callejon and Jacqueline Lee this past month!
Donna and Jacqueline were greeted with beautiful Portland weather. Perfect for visiting our site! Project POOCH’s kennel is located inside MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility. Visiting required a bit of walking since our kennel is on the far side of MacLaren’s campus. The weather couldn’t have cooperated better.
Joining us in the visit were Project POOCH founder and executive director, Joan Dalton, and Project POOCH board members Roxanne Thomas and Tom Lang.
When we arrived at the kennel, the youth had gathered, and welcomed us into the Engelhard Education Center (a structure youth originally built). It was wonderful listening to each of them share their story, their experience at Project POOCH, and what it means to them. They shared in detail what their responsibilities are at the kennel – responsibilities that range from feeding, cleaning, grooming, socializing, training, and of course, loving, the dogs, to creating the dogs’ marketing flyers, inventorying food supply, repairing concrete sidewalks, and tracking each doggie resident and their scheduled visits with potential adopters.
I know I was beaming with pride as they each in turn spoke about the dog they are working with, what challenges they’re facing with that dog’s training, and what successes they’ve experienced. As always, and as they’ve been taught by our founder and executive director, Joan Dalton, they were extremely polite, well spoken, kind, and professional. They even offered each of us coffee when we first walked in! They are truly learning to be gentlemen in every sense of the word!
Seeing our project through the youths' eyes as they explain it to others is so rewarding and heartwarming. It is a validation of their hard work and our investment in them as people, not offenders.
Donna, GlobalGiving Chief Business Officer, had this to say about her experience:
"It was inspiring to see Project POOCH in action and to visit with five young men who described how the program is giving them skills and hope, as they complete their time at MacLaren."
It is wonderful to see the staff at GlobalGiving take such a personal interest in projects such as ours. Their personal touch and commitment to ensuring projects on GlobalGiving are vetted adds so much value to our participation in GlobalGiving’s platform. They ensure your generous donations are going to causes that are truly changing the world. In our case, one dog at a time……