In honor of National Walk Your Dog Day, the Brownieland Team had a “W-Underful” day volunteering with The W-Underdogs, an Atlanta nonprofit that unlocks potential of at-risk youth by teaching leadership, empathy and compassion through caring for abused and neglected animals.
The Brownieland Team, along with volunteers and teens, lent a hand walking dogs, spreading mulch in dog pens, and loading their mobile pet food pantry. During our time volunteering on Saturday, we got a chance to get to know Grace Hamlin, founder of The W-Underdogs. In this article by Bob’s Rescue, Grace talks about being “a Veteran, focused on helping kids to stay out of gangs and instead focus their energy on helping the many stray animals roaming around our communities.” In an article by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Grace goes on to explain that “by teaching them to care for animals, she was teaching them how to care for each other. By teaching them to fight for the rights of animals, she was teaching them to fight for themselves.” You can find out more about Grace and her incredible mission on Returning the Favor, a Facebook series by host Mike Rowe, where he travels the country in search of remarkable people making a difference in their communities.The W-Underdogs is an innovative grassroots nonprofit that pairs underserved youth with animals in need. This incredible program helps youth at risk for gang involvement in South Atlanta neighborhoods gain leadership, responsibility, life skills, and compassion as they use teamwork to train and care for animals. What they learn is valuable both to help them grow and learn life lessons as well as making them employable as groomers, trainers, and vet assistants. They receive full hands-on training of the animals, rehabilitating them from their neglected/ abused state. The kids become empowered to make positive changes at school, home, and in their community through advocacy and direct action. The W-Underdogs program aims to energize the kids and their families and, in turn, contribute to a better community in both the short and long term.
How can you lend a hand to help this incredible Atlanta nonprofit? You can donate HERE, find volunteer opportunities HERE, and adopt a dog HERE. You can also participate in a fun day of building dog houses HERE. Follow their Facebook page to keep up with the latest news from The W-Underdogs!
The Brownieland Team was so inspired by our volunteer work through our #10in10 Volunteer Campaign that we have continued to volunteer with a different nonprofit each month and to share their Stories for the Greater Good. Stay tuned to discover the next Atlanta nonprofit we will volunteer with next month!
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