Imagine a job that lets you have a direct hand in helping someone live a more fulfilled life. A that job includes spending time with a sweet, adorable puppy.
She's the Vice President and a board member of OccuPaws Guide Dog Association, located in Madison, Wisconsin. The nonprofit group is strictly volunteer-based, relying on the generosity of donors to keep its work properly funded. (Like to help? Click here.)
"How can it be considered 'work' when you feel so good about helping others who are visually impaired?" says Marlette.
The group provides dogs at no cost to people in Wisconsin. Unlike other guide dog associations who suggest recipients attend an on-site camp to learn how to work with their dog, OccuPaws conducts the training at the student's home.
"We're also unique in that we provide companion dogs for blind children - the only organization to do so in the US," says Marlette. This special program garnered national attention when one of their young recipients was featured on Nickelodeon's Nick News.
Since fundraising events are a constant in any 501(C)(3) organization, optimizing their presence in the community is a priority. That's where Lands' End logo'd apparel comes into view. The exposure is essential in helping distinguish members from attendees.
The organization is thriving. They have about 35 puppies, plus other dogs in harness training with a Certified Guide Dog Trainer.