How a Dog Can Change Lives: Precision Contractors’ Focused Approach to Community Involvement
By Peter Hodges
The team at Precision Contractors takes pride in the broader impact their construction projects have on the communities around them. Their clients’ investments in building new buildings create dozens of new jobs and new revenue for each neighborhood.
To expand the positive impact Precision can make, Bob Hibbard, Precision Contractor’s president/CEO, is always looking for creative ways to contribute time and financial support to a select group of non-profit partners that align with Precision’s values and company culture.
While Precision has supported Food for Thought Denver, ADL Mountain States, and other causes, the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation (CHF) has been the primary focus of the company’s community service efforts for several years. Mr. Hibbard has served on several non-profit boards and he wanted to find an organization where Precision’s support could have a direct impact on the work that was being done. After attending a fundraising event for Chelsea Hutchison Foundation, he knew the organization was a perfect match.
“I was immediately impressed with the work Julie (the founder of the organization) and her group does to assist individuals and their families who have been affected by epilepsy and SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy),” said Hibbard.
Julie & Doug Hutchison lost their daughter Chelsea to SUDEP, and they created the foundation in her honor to help educate other families about the dangers of SUDEP and provide additional resources for people living with epilepsy.
Getting a Dog Can Change Everything
One of the main projects at CHF is helping to connect people who are living with epilepsy and other seizure-related conditions with seizure-response dogs. Once a suitable match has been made, CHF uses the funding donated by Precision Contractors to provide grants to help pay for the new animal.
While all the recipients of these special dogs benefit from their new friends, the impact on the lives of younger kids can be especially profound. These new canine family members give kids the confidence to deepen their engagement with the world, and their parents get to rest a little easier knowing their daughter or son has a capable friend who is continuously looking out for
The Problem: Superhero Training is Expensive
The obstacle most families face is the investment to turn a promising puppy into a well-trained seizure-response dog can be significant. It is not uncommon for the total investment in a new dog’s education to exceed $20,000. Precision Contractors has seen how important these dogs can be, and their support of CHF is specifically focused on helping make this kind of resource available to people who need it.
“Success is defined by what you can do to make a difference in someone else’s life. The work our clients and business partners give our team enables our ability to give back to organizations, like the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation,” said Hibbard.
While Precision’s support goes a long way toward connecting dogs with patients, the foundation does not fund the entire cost of the training and placement. The new family makes a reasonable investment to ensure they are committed to everyone’s long-term success. These dogs need constant training and reinforcement throughout their life, proper food, and ongoing
In addition to the impact these dogs have on the lives of their recipients, a large part of their training is completed by prison inmates who get to use their time and energy in a positive manner. This inmate program is connected with the dog training organization that works with CHF. Being a part of the training program is something the inmates need to earn. The inmates participation is an additional aspect of the program that appeals to Mr. Hibbard. “It’s gratifying to know we are helping these inmates find a valuable purpose in life and spend their time focused on learning and providing a service that benefits people who need it most.”
It is not an exaggeration to say these dogs genuinely save lives. Seizure-response dogs are an around-the-clock presence in the lives of their new owners. They provide a constant companion who is trained to watch for issues that can become life-threatening if left unaddressed.
Peter Hodges is the marketing director for Precision Contractors. His team is responsible for marketing and business development for the company. Precision Contractors provides construction services to its clients throughout the United States, with a specialization in retail, industrial/warehouse, professional offices, restaurants, and senior living projects.