Interview with Emma Benner, Volunteer and Board Member
Working with Healing Companions has been an amazing experience – but don’t just take my word for it! Read about why one of our volunteers and board members loves volunteering at Healing Companions. Sara Stajcic
What motivates you to volunteer?
Emma: I am motivated to volunteer because I love knowing that I have an impact on the community and am able to help an organization that I am passionate about. It is fun to work with the other volunteers in this organization.
Why did you choose to volunteer at Healing Companions in particular?
Emma: I decided to volunteer because I love working with both people with disabilities and dogs. I love the healing powers that service dogs have on people that are struggling. They can change their whole life around. This organization is helping to place service dogs with people that need them and I am so encouraged to do my part in helping to grow the organization and help as many people as possible.
Could you tell me a bit more about the work you do at Healing Companions?
Emma: My primary responsibility is social media marketing through Twitter. I come up with Continue Reading →
A huge thank you to Oberlin College’s Bonner Center for inviting Healing Companions, Inc. to participate in the Volunteer Fair on 9/6/18. We had a truly amazing time with over twenty-five folks signing up to volunteer with us. I also want to thank Oberlin Northwest bank for donating free water bottles, frisbees, key chains, shirts and goodie bags. Ahava, my golden retriever and co-therapist, attracted crowds to our table and provided an afternoon of pets, cuddles and love showered upon them. I am so grateful to the Bonner Center and everyone that stopped by to learn all about Healing Companions, Inc. and those who wanted to join us and spread the word through their social networks.
Emma Benner is a student-athlete at Purdue University on the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. She has been very involved in the special needs community as a coach for Special Olympics Minnesota, volunteer with Challenged Athletes Foundation, and a volunteer with River Valley Riders Therapeutic Riding. She has had a lifelong love for dogs as a happy owner of many rescue dogs. Emma has volunteered with various humane societies and has loved helping find shelter dogs a loving and forever home. She says cannot wait to help grow and develop the Healing Companions organization.
If you have ever seen a dog in a hospital room, you have had an encounter with a therapy dog. Therapy dogs provide comfort and affection to people in institutions such as hospices, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc.
Ahava at the OPL Dogread
Most of us have experienced the calming effects of spending time with dogs, but therapy dogs take it to another level. A 2014 study showed that patientsthat worked with therapy dogs after a joint arthroplasty reported lower pain levels and higher rates of satisfaction with the hospital. A study in 2007 showed that therapy dogs lowered blood pressure and anxiety levels in patients hospitalized for heart failure.
There is a lot of confusion in the general public surrounding what constitutes an emotional support animal (ESA) and the regulations governing their owners’ rights. ESAs are companions that provide therapeutic benefits to individuals with disabling mental illnesses. The position of an emotional support animal is not reserved to dogs only, although we see them most commonly in this category.