HABIC’s 2021 volunteer awards highlight pandemic resilience for communities

plaque for the human-animal bond in colorado annual polly award to honor a volunteer working in long-term care settingsHuman-Animal Bond in Colorado, part of Colorado State University’s School of Social Work, has announced three human-animal teams and a local Fort Collins business for its annual volunteer celebration awards.

Polly Award for volunteer work in long-term care

Longtime volunteer Kathy McNaught and her dog Winnie received the “Polly Award,” which recognizes outstanding human-animal interactions in long-term care facilities. McNaught has volunteered at Columbine Commons Assisted Living facility in Windsor. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, McNaught stayed connected to senior residents in long-term care by sending them heart-warming letters. In 2020, she also took on a leadership role to support other volunteers.

award plaque for human-animal bond volunteer working in school settings

Toby Award for volunteer work in schools

Bonnie Trupp and her dog Abby received the “Toby Award,” established to recognize an outstanding volunteer who works in a school setting. Trupp and Abby have volunteered for many years at Truscott Elementary in Loveland and Bennett Elementary in Fort Collins. During the pandemic, Trupp has been sending encouraging messages and videos for students. In March, they were one of the first teams to return to in-person animal-assisted therapy work at B.F. Kitchen Elementary in Loveland.

award plaque for human-animal bond in colorado's community partner award featuring jackie's java

Community Partner Award

Local small business Jackie’s Java of Fort Collins received the “Community Partner Award,” given to an individual or organization whose contributions help extend the reach and awareness of HABIC’s mission in the community. Even while facing challenges from Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, and being under new ownership, Jackie’s Java made HABIC’s annual holiday fundraiser a success with increased sales of 46% over 2019.

award plaque for human-animal bond in colorado's volunteer of the year

Volunteer of the Year

Kathleen Huggins and her dog Jimmy received the “Volunteer of the Year,” honor, which is awarded to a HABIC volunteer who goes above and beyond to support the mission of HABIC during volunteer activities and in their everyday lives.

Huggins and Jimmy have been volunteering with HABIC since 2018. Most recently they have been providing support for essential healthcare workers at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. In addition to volunteering with HABIC, Huggins serves on the board of directors at St. Joe’s. She was an integral part of the effort to restart visits from HABIC teams at the hospital following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

habic logoAbout Human-Animal Bond in Colorado

Founded in 1993, Human-Animal Bond in Colorado (HABIC) is a center in the School of Social Work, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. HABIC’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people of all ages through the therapeutic use of companion animals, with particular focus in the areas of community outreach, teaching, and research.