By Mia Huey, Communications Intern, Fall 2013
Next Month, the Central Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross will launch a program known as Piper the Puppy.
The Red Cross is known for responding to disaster all over the world, providing shelter, food, and clothes. Now, we are also providing children and parents with some emotional stability in a time of chaos and confusion. We are providing them with a friend.
Piper the Puppy first started in the Dallas/Fort Worth area as a Dallas Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leader’s project and was adopted by the North Texas Chapter of the Red Cross. For a $100 donation, we place the donor’s name on Piper’s paw. When disaster strikes, our Disaster Action Team places Piper in a child’s arms. Then, we contact the donor to let them know where and with whom their Piper has found a home. The donations from the Piper the Puppy program go toward services such as providing disaster relief and supporting our armed forces.
Casey Hatfield, an AmeriCorps VISTA, joined the Red Cross of Central Texas this year to help get the Piper the Puppy program off the ground in our region.
“Disasters are usually sudden and terrifying for kids. Piper alleviates some of that suffering and provides a bit of added security in a chaotic time,” said Hatfield. “Piper lets kids know that their community cares and supports them. Piper tells them that they are not alone.”
In addition to giving children affected by disasters a new friend, we also provide them with some understanding about what has happened. Every Piper comes with a story: “You’re Loved…But this you knew.” Written by Phebe Phillips, in both English and Spanish, this story helps children to make sense of their situation as well as provide them with comfort and support.
Sometimes all it takes to ease the pain and confusion of a disaster is a friend to snuggle. Each and every Piper will find a home to watch over our littlest fighters and encourage resiliency during the recovery process.
You can sponsor a single puppy for $100 or a whole litter for $1,200. If you would like to donate to the Piper program, please call 512-928-4271 or visit us online.