Catholic Charities West Virginia

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Raymond Wolfe Center Serve Client’s Unique Needs.

Catholic Charities WV’s Raymond Wolfe Center in Kingwood was fortunate to receive help for the second year from United Way Day of Caring volunteers on May 3, 2017.  Alix Evans, Outreach Coordinator at the Raymond Wolfe Center organized the project to assist those in need who care for a pet.
The event was part of the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties’ Day of Caring. Volunteers bagged pet food that was either donated or purchased with a grant from the Red Rover Foundation. Donations were collected at the Dollar Tree and Walmart in Kingwood. The Preston County Humane Society was on site to speak to pet owners about animal care, and provide applications for spay/neuter financial assistance which pays the full cost of the procedure for pets in income eligible households.
According to Evans, “Clients tell us all the time they will go without food themselves to feed their pets”. She went on to say, “This was truly a community effort bringing together agencies, businesses, and community members throughout Preston County. Many people shared stories about their pets during the event which provided a connection between volunteers and those in need.” Participants heard about Barney, an eight year old basset hound, whose owner stated, “He’s all I have”. They also heard about Rusty, a Husky-Pomeranian mix rescued from the local dog pound, whose owner described him as “my soulmate”.
Research shows pet ownership to have a positive impact on physical well-being and mental health. According to Erika Friedman, Associate Professor of Health Science, Brooklyn College of City University of New York, “Pets play a variety of health promoting roles which are particularly important for individuals lacking support from family members or close friends.” Pet owners have also been found to report lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Alissa Wilmoth, CCWVa Central Regional Director, and former therapist stated, “The act of caring for another being gives a person purpose and promotes a stable routine. This provides a significant increase in feelings of self-worth, and makes a positive impact on one’s mental health in general. I would routinely suggest pet ownership to many of my clients who were capable of caring for a pet.”