PenFed Foundation Donates $50,000 to Help Launch Canine Companions for Independence® Veterans Initiative PTSD Program
TYSONS, Va., November 10, 2018 — PenFed Foundation presented Canine Companions for Independence® with a $50,000 donation to support the launch of Canine Companions’ PTSD program that will change the lives of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the Northeast region. As part of the PTSD program, the highly-skilled assistance dogs are trained to create physical space in public for the handler, turn on lights, and interrupt flashbacks, anxiety episodes and nightmares, helping to mitigate the veterans' PTSD symptoms.
“We are proud to work with Canine Companions and want to do more to help the increasing number of wounded veterans who can benefit from an assistance dog,” said James Schenck, President and CEO, PenFed Credit Union and CEO PenFed Foundation. “Wounded veterans often face difficult transitions back to civilian life. An assistance dog can provide the help they need to regain independence, pride and hope. These dogs are changing lives.”
A successful pilot program at Canine Companions began earlier this year for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), joining the ranks of over 6,000 service dog teams matched by the organization. In 2019, the new program will expand to Canine Companions' training centers in Texas and New York.
In addition to today’s donation, PenFed Foundation has provided $60,000 in funding to Canine Companions in the last year. PenFed Credit Union is also supporting two employee volunteer puppy raisers at PenFed and covering all costs associated with raising the dogs.
“We are grateful for PenFed’s continued supported and honored to support even more of our nation’s heroes with service dogs to help mitigate the symptoms of PTSD,” said Paige Mazzoni, Canine Companions for Independence CEO. “Canine Companions is committed to helping those who have sacrificed so much by matching them with expertly-trained service dogs trained in over 40 commands. With our recent program expansion, we can help more veterans across the nation.”
For the last 43 years, Canine Companions has been committed to providing four different types of highly trained assistance dogs to those in need at no cost. Assistance dogs assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks. Hearing dogs alert their partners, who have a hearing disability, to important sounds. Facility dogs work with clients with special needs in a visitation, education, criminal justice or health care setting. Skilled companions enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities.
The donation check was presented by PenFed volunteer puppy raisers Lisa Jennings and Emma Phillips and Canine Companions puppies Admiral and Clint during the Diamonds in the Ruff fundraising event program on November 10 at Northeast Region’s Miller Family Campus in Medford, NY.
About PenFed Foundation
Founded in 2001, the PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to helping members of our military community secure their financial future. It provides service members, veterans, their families and support networks with the skills and resources they need to improve their lives through programs on financial education, credit-building, home ownership, and short-term assistance. Affiliated with PenFed Credit Union, the Foundation has the resources to effectively reach military communities across the nation, build strong partnerships, and engage a dedicated corps of volunteers in its mission. The credit union funds the Foundation’s personnel and most operational costs, demonstrating its strong commitment to the programs the Foundation provides. To learn more, visit www.penfedfoundation.org.
About Canine Companions for Independence
Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained assistance dogs to children and adults with disabilities. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six training centers across the country, including CA, FL, OH, NY and TX. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. There is no charge for the dog, its training and a lifetime of follow-up services. For more information, call 1-800-572-BARK or visit www.cci.org.