Brad here (and here). I give everything I can to Psychiatric Service Dog Partners, but I can’t do it alone. I’ll share some of my story so you can understand why I’m willing to make sacrifices for this group. Maybe I can inspire you to join me in contributing!
Before I was in a wheelchair, I had some struggles with anxiety and depression. The medication I tried didn’t work for me—unless by “work” you mean “make you need an emotional surge protector” or “short-circuit your balance so you bump into everything”!
Fortunately, therapy got me through the toughest of times and I haven’t had to wrestle with that underhanded opponent of mental illness in myself for years. Lucky me!
Of course, many people would look at me and not think I’m particularly lucky: I live with severe fatigue, wonky walking, and stultifying spasms. Nowadays these issues prevent me from working, but they can’t stem my passion for volunteering my skills at my own pace whenever I’m able.
Yes, my ability to engage with the world is very limited, but contributing to a worthy cause is fulfilling and enables me to enjoy my life. I’ve sometimes wondered whether the worst kind of disability is the kind that stands in the way of your enjoyment of life, as mental illness often does.
A great many people aren’t so lucky as I feel I am, and meds and therapy just aren’t enough to put them on a good path. I’ve been married to one of these people since 2002.
My partner, Veronica, doesn’t get sole support for her disabilities from any one source, but she does get massive soul support from her psychiatric service dog. I love her with all my heart (she’s a blast!), but I also love what PSDP does to help people with struggles like hers.
When mental illness disables people by preventing them from meaningfully engaging in the world in everyday ways many of us take for granted—when meds and therapy aren’t enough to turn this around—psychiatric service dogs are able to provide some with precious hope. And not just hope for those with the psychiatric diagnoses!
Years ago, it was the assistance of this kind of organization that allowed me to transform back from being Veronica’s caretaker to being her partner once again.
My passion burns for PSDP’s mission and ultimately its impact in the lives of your friends and neighbors because I want to be a part of strong communities. I want to provide relief both to those who directly suffer from mental illness, and relief to the networks of loving people who suffer because someone in their lives has yet to find the right help. A strong community doesn’t abandon those in need, but actively treats and heals the wounds of its members so that all in the network can thrive.
Maybe you’re not in a position like I am where you can squeeze the last ounces of your energy into an all-volunteer group that strengthens your community. It’s more likely that you’re tired after working hard at a normal job every day to earn that paycheck.
Here’s the deal. I understand that you’re busy, might be tired, and might have more than one meaningful way to spread your wealth.
I’m comfortable asking for a piece of your hard-earned paycheck or personal petty cash because I believe in a few things: (1) you want to help strengthen your community, (2) if you’re like most people, your only barrier to helping others is being overwhelmed by the opportunities, and (3) PSDP is a solid, specific way for you to invest in the public good. If you believe these points along with me, I think we have plenty in common and can make the world a better place for having us in it.
So here’s my question:
Will you please join me in giving by sharing some of your dollars for Dogs Saving Lives?
Because when you choose to contribute, we’re all stronger together.