Paws 4 Success has been reaching out for the past year to help individuals with disabilities by training dogs that can assist them in their quest to gain independence.
The non-profit organization, based on English Road in Chino Hills, was just gearing up for its first major fundraiser in March 2020 when COVID hit.
Since then, the group has fine-tuned and expanded its purpose to provide additional programs that focus on education and compassion. The group is now ready to introduce itself to the community.
An open house and mental health forum will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 12 at 3141 English Road off Peyton Drive in Chino Hills.
The event will also include raffles, service dog demonstrations, vendors, and food booths, said executive director David Harrison, a retired deputy sheriff who heads up the organization.
Longtime resident and former teacher Carol Mann opened her goat farm on English Road to provide the training facility for the organization, of which she serves as treasurer.
“The main focus of our efforts has been centered around assisting individuals diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression disorders,” Mr. Harrison said.
“Through our service dogs, our clients have gained independence, developed an understanding that they are not limited by their diagnosis and learn the skills to care for their canine teammate,” he said.
The mental health forum will include a panel pf healthcare professionals and individuals living with mental health disorders who will openly discuss how society views mental health, the people it impacts, current treatment, and how the community can become more accepting.
“It is our goal to have an honest conversation with people knowledgeable in the field, in hopes that we take steps to normalize mental health,” Mr. Harrison said.
The open house will showcase the services provided at Paws 4 Success and offer local resources, he said.
The organization will announce the winner of a high school and young adult essay contest on the topic: How our Society can Bring Awareness and Acceptance to a Common Mental Health Problem.
The winner will receive a $200 cash prize during the open house.
Paws 4 Success holds weekly community dog walks, a weekly dinner for local veterans and first responders to provide a safe place to gather and share experiences, educational programs, and Paws 4 Reading led by a certified reading instructor and her canine pal.
To learn more about the organization, visit paws4success.org or call Mr. Harrison at (562) 505-0979.