Throughout 2015, the Iowa Jaycees have been working with various community partners to learn how we can better support Veterans in our communities. On this Veterans Day, we are excited to announce that this effort will continue in 2016 through a pilot program with Paws & Effect, a Des Moines, Iowa-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises, trains, and places service dogs with military veterans and others.
“The development of a statewide relationship between the Jaycees and Paws & Effect is one that will yield many benefits to both organizations,” said Raymond Ropa, a Cedar Rapids Jaycees member, himself a veteran. “Now, veterans have another resource to welcome them as a service dog team, helping remove the obstacles to access and making for a smooth integration into the community.”
Local Jaycee chapters will work directly with service dog recipients, providing support through the “Passport to Civic Leadership” program, empowering each veteran to take an active role in both improving themselves and their communities. Additionally, funds raised through Paws & Effects’ annual July fund-raiser, “Tables & Tails,” will be used to provide community classes about service dogs and access rights. During the event, business owners contribute a portion of one day’s proceeds.
“Business owners, managers, and employees are often at the front lines of protecting the rights of service animal handlers,” said Erin Flage, 2016 State President-Elect. “When you see a trained animal working in a restaurant, retail business, or office space, you can rest assured the business knows the law.”
Read the full Press Release.