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February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I first heard of ECAD from a friend who desired to have a companion dog for her autistic sons. As we were able to take part by assisting with the funds needed for the training and then partnering of the perfect dog for her sons, it became evident that all the staff were kind, professional and very supportive of the entire process. It was a match made in heaven and it has enabled this entire family to venture out into the general population with much more security and confidence and saftey with the assistance of their companion dog. Things that were not a reality if it had not been for the great team at ECAD.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In directly through partnership with friend.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Great organization

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I have volunteered with ECAD for several rewarding years now. I view the program as a WIN-WIN-WIN. Service dogs are trained by at-risk youth (first WIN -- you should see the kids bond with these dogs, and from their experience learn patience and trust). Then the dogs are paired with persons with physical challenges (second WIN -- whether it is providing independence to an autistic child (and parents!) or much-needed physical and/or emotional support for a wounded veteran, the service dog adds quality of life for a recipient. Third WIN: the volunteer! Being a weekend handler allows me to have a trained, loving dog at my convenience. It is very rewarding, to say nothing of excellent exercise!

Imagine being the kid in the wheelchair, that has always felt like an outsider at school. Now, imagine being that same kid in the wheelchair at school -- but with a dog! The other kids now envy you and crowd around. You are no longer the kid with the disability -- you are the kid who GETS to have a dog. Big difference!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

ECAD goes out of its way to create a sense of community. Volunteers are encouraged to interact with the eventual recipient/pairing of a service dog they helped train. We hear their backgrounds and stories, which makes the experience come alive for each of us.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ECAD should continue to improve its communication and marketing arms, to keep everyone engaged.

February 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I was trained by ECAD 6 and a half years ago to work with therapy dogs as part of my job as a social worker in a residential treatment facility. I found the training I received as part of the program and the continued contact and communication with ECAD to be extremely helpful to my job. I utilize ECAD therapy dogs in individual sessions, group sessions, community activities, and treatment team meetings with my boys. The boys at MercyFirst have responded so well to the presence of the dogs and I am so glad to be a part of the program. The dogs help these severely traumatized boys feel safe and cared for in a way that no human can.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My interactions with the residents of MercyFirst.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

When I first herd about ECAD I couldn't wait to sign up.Before I signed up though, my parents wanted to see if I could volunteer at a more local facility.When that failed, my parents said I could finally fill the application and go with my friend to ECAD see what they do.When that day finally arrived, it was Sunday afternoon; I was wearing my pink polo shirt ( to look presentable), and got in my friend's car.We were off!When we arrived it wasn't exactly what I thought it would look like, but it was fine with me!My friend introduced me to everyone there, then soon I got the nickname, Pinky; (lol :) because of my shirt )! After a few weeks of going with my friend I was finally accepted into ECAD! I was then assigned a dog to work with and foster at my house (optional). He was a great dane lab mix named Valor. He was the best dog in the world! He was all black and literally my shadow (lol :D )! I fostered Valor for many weekends, he was always there for me, and was always a very good boy! Later my instructor told me he was soon moving on to the New York campus, I was sad that Valor was leaving, but happy that he was one step closer to becoming a service dog (and I was still able to see him sometimes when he would come back to the Connecticut campus). After Valor moved on to the New York campus; I wasn't particularly assigned to another dog I just got any dog that was there to foster and train. Later I went to Valor's graduation and saw him become an official service dog. To this day I still think of him often. I still do go to ECAD and foster and train dogs, and YES they still do call me Pinky at times, but it doesn't bother me.ECAD has changed me in many ways.Before I came to ECAD I wasn't patient, but now that I work with the dogs I have to be patient, I also feel more mellow and calm when I am around other dogs and people (Valor taught me that). Each dog has many purposes in life, taking a dog home to foster every once in a while, will teach me more lessons to learn about life,love, and lessons. I love coming to ECAD and always look forward to coming each week. I hope that someday I will help impact any people like ECAD has; I know it has for me, my family, friends, and the people whom are gaining independence.ECAD will impact your life too, if you give it a chance, and help them raise money, to raise more puppies, which will someday turn into service dogs that will help people in many ways.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

An all out great organization, I love coming to ECAD, and I know I have the power to change lives, and make a difference being a kid.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NONE

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

NONE

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

YES!!! Definitely!!!!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Awesome!!!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

i have a family member who has a companion dog. The union has helped him tremendously. The change I have seen in his emotional stability, attitude and happpiness has been so positive. ECAD does great work, which I am grateful for.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My close family member has been helped.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I am not involved with them to make a recommendation. I have only experienced the positive change in a family member.

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

We began volunteering with ECAD last year as weekend home handlers. While having an incredibly smart, adorable dog in our home every weekend has brought us much joy, it was a recent "graduation" ceremony that truly demonstarted the power of this organization. To see the impact that these dogs have had on so many lives was awe inspiring. From the clients whose lives will be changed, to the home handlers whose weekends are made brighter, to the children trainees whose lives are enriched with responsibility, trust, and unconditional love, the community impact that ECAD delivers is nothing short of exceptional. Thank you, ECAD, for everything you do!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had personal experience with this organization as a weekend home handler volunteer and in my participation in special events such as parades, graduation ceremonies, fundraising events.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

February 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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February 16, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I work for Children's Village, which collaborates with ECAD. ECAD instructors train at-risk adolescents at our residential school to train assistance dogs for the physically handicapped. I have seen first-hand the transformation of our young men who work in this program. Not only do they develop a skill, but they learn patience, gain self-confidence, and experience the joy of helping someone less fortunate. Many Children's Village staff volunteer in this program, taking dogs home on the weekends to socialize them. I have been a volunteer for three years taking care of Ruthie, who is a breeder in the program and "works" in the pet therapy program.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing its impact on at-risk adolescents.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

spread the word more about its wonderful work.

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I got invovled with ECAD as a compromise to my daughter who wanted a dog to love. ECAD provided that, but also allowed her to feel the joy of giving back to others who ultimately get the dogs we help train. The staff is committed, knowledgable and responsive. They also give back to the community by educating the public on these critical programs.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the benefactos of the dogs; whose lives are changed by having an assitance dog.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand it!

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

I have been an ECAD volunteer for about 4 years. ECAD has been an inspiration for me in showing how an organization can help so many people with so little. Not only do they provide excellent canines for disabled people, but they also provide excellent skills to the youths who train the dogs. These youths all come from different backgrounds but they have one thing in common in that they need guidance in order to succeed in life. I have seen numerous adolescents grow to be young adults that anyone would be proud of. They raise and train the dogs from puppies until about 2 years old and they take extreme pride in their ability to turn that puppy into a service dog that will enhance the life of someone in need, whether it be a military person with PSTS or a physical disability or a child with Autism or a severe physical handicap. The staff at ECAD is to be commended for their outstanding work and service. I have seen first hand how hard they work and how sincere they all are. They are truly deserving of any and all grants that might be available to them!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By being a home handler, I was able to take puppies home on the weekend and then when the dog advanced to graduation I was able to see the fruits of our efforts when the dog was given to a person in need.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything.

February 16, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 16, 2011

My husband and I have been ECAD Home Handlers for the past 2 years, taking dogs home for weekends. Everything about the ECAD program is impressive.....the staff (professional and helpful); the dogs (well trained, well taken care of); the boys at Children's Village (CV) who help train the dogs. We think the organization is a win-win arrangement: the dogs are eager to please; the boys at CV are involved in a very meaningful program; the clients are thoughtfully and carefully matched with dogs; and finally the client testimony is proof of the success of the program.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By being a "Home Handler"

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Wash and groom up to 10 dogsSocialize with a new litter of puppiesDecorate & Prepare a graduation ceremonyAssist in general office work; filing, mailings, copies, etc.Participate at awareness events Volunteer