Volunteers are the lifeblood of Warrior Canine Connection. This month and every month, we are grateful to all the amazing volunteers who support our organization. Your time and talents truly help change Veterans’ lives. Not only that, but your contributions also significantly impact WCC’s bandwidth, budget, and ability to provide programming.
Here’s a snapshot of the impact volunteers made on WCC in 2021 (note infographic to the right).
A total of 526 volunteers assisted WCC for a record-breaking 87,376 hours donated across 13 program sites. That manpower accounts for a major cost savings to WCC, valued at $2,493,711 ($28.54 per hour) — all while helping to serve 526 Veterans through 3,997 hours of animal-assisted therapy.
So why do they do it? A few WCC volunteers share “their why” with us below.
“Volunteering with WCC means I get to be a link in the chain reaction each puppy starts from birth, with saving a veteran’s life who will then in turn change everyone else’s lives around them for the better.”
Deborah Logan, WCC Volunteer since 2020
“When I first signed up to be a WCC volunteer (as a puppy sitter) to be quite honest it was all about the love of puppies. As I learned more about the WCC programs and the incredible Veteran and military community they serve it soon turned into Fur the love of Veterans. The puppies are a wonderful and joyful bonus. Though neither myself nor my husband (who is also a volunteer) are veterans we come from a long history of them. Both of our grandfathers, fathers, uncles and my brother have all served in the US military in both the Army and Air Force. I love my volunteer jobs with WCC. It gives me a sense of community, I’ve developed many friendships with WCC employees, I’ve watched numerous litters grow up and change lives.”
Jerri Hatch, WCC Volunteer since 2016
“I’m currently Nathan’s puppy parent. I volunteer to learn how to train dogs, relieve stress, and make a helpful impact for WCC.”
John Alsterda, WCC Volunteer since 2018
“I have always been passionate about animals and know the impact that a service dog has in a person’s life. I saw it as a child. I have always had a profound respect for individuals that serve our country. Being able to volunteer in this way is a gift. Being a volunteer has taught me a lot about myself. There are no words to describe the relationship between a dog team. I see the benefits and love a dog brings to my own life and then see the greater impact one has on a veteran or veteran family.”
Krista Vega, WCC Volunteer since 2019
“I never served in the Military, although I was a Military wife. I started at WCC to honor my Dad, a Navy Veteran who passed in 2015. He wanted to volunteer with Veterans after he retired but unfortunately passed before he got the chance. It is also a way for me to serve our Military and Veterans.”
Lisa Pendleton, WCC Volunteer since 2015
“My dad is a service-disabled veteran. I grew up raising search and rescue bloodhounds with my grandfather. Becoming a WCC volunteer was the opportunity that allowed me to reconnect with what I always wanted to do as a kid: work with dogs every day, but also do that work for an amazing cause that is so important to me: supporting our veteran population. Seeing my service dog in training work with a veteran in the Mission Based Trauma Recovery program changed me forever. Seeing both the veteran and the dog benefit from the working relationship was incredible. I want to make that experience available to more veterans and raise a service dog that will change a veteran’s life.”
Bridget Forney, WCC Volunteer since 2020
“After losing our family dog in early 2021, we wanted to have a dog in our life while also giving back to our community. WCC rather serendipitously entered our lives, it’s seemed meant to be! We love knowing we are helping veterans, especially as the satellite dogs work with veterans as part of their treatment. We also love being representatives of WCC and sharing the story of the great work they do!”
Tegan Kopilenko (and sons Bennett and William), WCC Volunteer since 2021
Again, thank you to all of you, our amazing volunteers, we couldn’t do it without you!
Are you interested in volunteering for WCC? Check out our current opportunities here.