In December, the K9 First Responders (K9FR) were able to visit us here at Watson and discuss their needs and challenges for 2017. K9FR is a marvelous organization whose mission is to provide aid and comfort to individuals, groups, and communities impacted by violence or traumatic events. Theirs is an unprecedented approach that uses specially-trained dogs to facilitate contact, engagement, and the decompression process of people only just emerging from the aftermath of a tragedy.
In order to fulfill their mission, these teams are often deployed out of state, requiring travel expenses including the airfare. This was one of their most pressing needs, we were to learn in our meeting.
Watson has many employees who travel for business. Some airlines provide additional mileage points on the corporate level, as well as to each individual traveler. We had accumulated a lot of points we were not using fast enough; often, our points would expire unused.
Marie, who coordinates all of our corporate travel, was able to work with our travel agent and the airlines to convert our soon-to-expire points into travel vouchers, that we could then donate to the K9 First Responders.
By the week of January 4th, 2017, we were already able to donate 4 travel vouchers, which will provide the organization with four round-trip tickets on Delta Airlines!
These vouchers will be used to transport veteran teams for deployment to a crisis, or transport new teams to training.
New K9FR Teams are trained in various psychosocial supports and are deployed immediately to calm and comfort victims of disaster, catastrophe, crisis, or violence as quickly as possible. They serve communities and individuals, as well as Police, Fire, EMS, and other Public Safety personnel.
For more information on this great organization, see their website: https://k9fr.org/