Jennifer Arnold was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a teenager and spent two years in a wheelchair. A local organization at the time trained service dogs to help people in wheelchairs, but it had a long waiting list, so Jennifer and her family went on to spend the next 10 years organizing Canine Assistants to connect people with service dogs. Canine Assistants trains dogs and places them with recipients that have physical disabilities, seizure disorders, and special needs. The dogs can assist with a variety of everyday tasks, such as turning on lights, opening doors, retrieving dropped objects, and providing companionship. Specially trained seizure-response dogs can also remain next to recipients during episodes and summon help. Canine Assistants also takes trained dogs on educational presentations around the region where they meet with students and people in hospitals to teach about disabilities. A new K-9 kids' reading program aims to motivates children to learn to read by letting them read aloud to the dogs, putting them at ease with a companion from whom they will receive no judgment.
Feral Cat Program of Georgia works with the community and a network of veterinarians to spay or neuter and vaccinate stray and feral cats throughout north Fulton and Forsyth Counties. Older cats are returned to their colonies and given food, water, and shelter by traveling colony caregivers, even in severe weather. Kittens are adopted into foster homes to help protect them from predators and foul weather. Volunteers help socialize these kittens, giving them both food and loving attention so that they can live happily in adoptive homes when they grow older. Foster families need to sit with them while they eat and pet them at least three times a day to help the kittens build trust in humans. In 2009, the program placed 228 cats into new homes and sterilized an additional 525 animals.
Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption (APRA) rescues and rehabilitates cats and dogs that have been neglected or abandoned. Since its inception, the volunteer-based, no-kill shelter has rescued more than 15,200 animals, providing them with essential care and affection. Staff members test the animals for temperament and treat any curable medical conditions; animals with special needs are sent to foster homes where they can receive ongoing treatment. Through APRA’s enrichment program, the staff provides positive reinforcement as cat and dogs socialize in communal spaces with outdoor access—helping make transitions to forever homes as seamless as possible.
Lipsey Mountain Spring Water uses toxin-free containers to escort pure natural spring water from the Blue Ridge Mountains into local homes and offices. Using pharmaceutical-grade glass containers imported from Italy, Lipsey's liquid gold is bottled from sources inside the Lipsey family property in Nantahala National Forest. Unlike plastics, these 100% recyclable glass containers are free of harmful contaminants such as BPA and preserve your water's purity and taste so that it can be contaminated by sugary drink powder not endorsed by astronauts.
The WRC's Making Change Program enables women to regain control of their economic security by offering basic financial education in a safe space. Women can also discuss finances with other participants and cooperate in mutually beneficial ways—for example, by becoming roommates. All of the program's participants have experienced domestic violence and are ready and willing to look realistically at their current financial situations and make the necessary changes. After completing the program, women receive dollar-for-dollar matches of up to $1,000 for any funds they save while participating in the program, thus helping them pay the first month's rent in their new, safe residences.