I don’t even know what to say. Global Giving is refusing to answer even a single question that the Pepsi Pups families have asked. Not. A. Single. One. And they are blatantly disregarding our simple request for communication in writing. They have begun calling the families and demanding that the families provide an answer of yes/no to being in the Pepsi Pup program BY FRIDAY. Without answering a single, simple request for more information.
Below is a post from Stinker Baby:
AND IN THIS CORNER
Recently, this whole Pepsi Pup mess has taken on a new level of ridiculous. The “Powers That Be” in this drama have gotten out their big brooms and are looking for a ginormous rug. Instead of answering even one of our requests in our response letter (found here: letter in which we ask simple questions and clearly ask for written contact), Global Giving representatives have begun calling the families and telling these parents they need an answer by the end of the week.
The families are being required to request to stay in the program? And instead of answering any of our questions (Not. Even. One.), we’re supposed to just trust what they say? Yeah. Right. Any other service dog organization would be happy to answer those simple questions immediately and, most likely, we would not have had to ask in the first place. But instead, our requests for written contact are ignored, they are refusing to answer even one of our simple questions, and the demands are being placed on us.
Instead of a simple apology or an admission of…gasp…an honest mistake, they’re ready to take it to the mat.
Well, AFA / Pepsi / Global Giving…Since you’re obviously looking for a fight, you should get to know your opponents. We’ll start with just two so you can really get to know these foes. Maybe you’ll be able to find some weakness you can use to your advantage. Are you ready? Take notes! You might need them.
Meet Faith C. from Washington. I’ll let Faith’s mom, Allison (who also blogs at Mommy Rambles
), tell you about her amazing daughter in her own words. Take it away, Allison!
Faith was born in Charleston, South Carolina. She was a much anticipated, most welcome addition to our family of five. Her brothers and sister anxiously waited with friends while Mom and Dad went to the hospital. All was well, with everything right on schedule as we checked into the hospital. I could say that everything else went without a hitch but that wouldn’t be entirely true – shortly after her birth, Faith stopped breathing and was resuscitated by our delivery nurse. We still vividly recall her call for help into the intercom. During the first several weeks, we noticed that Faith wasn’t nursing and was developing a full body rash that would not go away. We switched from one formula to the next, trying everything we could, but with no luck. Allergy testing revealed life-threatening allergies to dairy, soy, egg, wheat, corn, oat, peanut and all tree nuts. And through it all, she fought on. Just when we thought we had a handle on our daughter’s medical issues, we were given the news that she had suffered a stroke just prior to birth as the developmental and physical delays became more and more evident.
She began a rigorous therapy program to include Early Intervention services and private Physical and Occupational Therapy. Each developmental step achieved, each milestone gained, was a blessing. We truly did not know what the future held for our little girl. Our daughter is still a medical mystery. She has many diagnoses, among them Autism, mild hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, hemi facial micro soma, global developmental delay, Familial Mediterranean Fever Syndrome, left ventricle hardening of her heart, reduced kidney function and kidney scarring. She has recently graduated from being G-tube fed. It has been quite the journey so far, a scant 7 years and yet through it all she has brought so much joy and happiness to our world. During hospitalizations she was known to bring her nurses to tears with her thank you’s. Her heart goes out to those she feels are hurt or abandoned.
We recently visited her grandparents. During our visit the inevitable meltdown occurred. The complete change in routine was just too much for her to handle. Within moments Grandma’s dog, a sweet little corgi, is over by Faith. A few nuzzles, some nudges and the meltdown begins to subside almost as quickly as it had started. Watching the interaction between animal and child made us realize how important it could be to Faith.
You might be wondering what a service dog would do for a person, let along a child with autism. For many disabled people, service dogs bridge the gap of disability and ability. Service dogs help their human partners become more independent by providing assistance walking and navigating their environment, retrieving dropped items and returning them, helping to open doors, providing a sense of security by acting as a barrier between their partner and the rest of the world. They also provide emotional support when needed most; interrupting self-harming behavior, alerting others of wandering, and easing transitions by providing a constant calming presence.
Here we are, with this loving child who wants nothing more than to be part of the world as best as she can. She becomes easily tired, wants constant contact with her Mom or Dad (mostly Mom – Dad is an active duty Navy Submariner) who becomes overwhelmed if presented with too much unknown all at once. She is a creature of habit, with a strict adherence to the plan as it is laid in her mind. A buffer, in the form of someone familiar, helps to ease her fears. And this is where the service dog would begin to make the greatest impact. Allowing her the security to transition between the familiar and that which is new, giving her the additional support to keep moving forward, the extra hands to recover those things that she could not hold.
Meet Caleb from Florida. The pediatrician tells me that he’s going to be about 6’2″ when fully grown. I’m torn between pride and terror. At 5 1/2 years old, he’s already big for his age and getting stronger every day. And, good grief, is he fast!
We are desperate for a service dog because Caleb is a wanderer. I wish I knew the thoughts or feelings he has just before he bolts, but I don’t. And he’s unable to tell me. I’m unable to walk from the front door to the mailbox without Caleb escaping and running right into the street. We have high locks and DIY alarms on the doors at home. And yet, he is so incredibly smart that he figures out ways around them. I remember one time, I dared to use the bathroom while home alone with the kids. (I’m home alone with them most of the time while my husband is in nursing school.) All the locks and alarms were set. When I walked back into the living room, I was met with silence. The kind that makes your blood run cold. The kind that means trouble. I called for Caleb with no response. Again and again, I called his name, thinking that even if he was in the next room, a chance of response was slim. That’s when I noticed the front door lock was open. I ran out and found Caleb and his two-year-old sister roaming the front yard. He had managed to get the high lock open by opening and closing the door in rapid succession. I didn’t sleep for a few days after that.
He’s been in four schools in the last two years. He has escaped from every single classroom until his current placement (a contained ESE classroom with a 1:2 ratio of adults to students). At one school, gates were installed halfway through the year. I can only imagine that we might have had something to do with that decision.
The last time I attempted to run errands on my own with both kids, I decided to make one of those “normal” memories and take the kids to McDonald’s for Happy Meals. Caleb had had a much improved day at school and I wanted to reward him. While I was struggling to get both kids and the tray of Happy Meals to the table, Caleb broke away from me. He ran down an aisle of occupied tables towards the exit. Not one person tried to stop him. Not one person attempted to help. I was faced with the decision of leaving my two-year-old daughter alone inside McDonald’s or my five-year-old son running into traffic. I caught up to Caleb just in the nick of time, right at the curb as a giant SUV came tearing around the corner of the building. I walked back in to get a scared and sobbing Grace and we walked out, leaving our “Happy” Meals right where they sat.
These are just two of the children of the Pepsi Pup fiasco. There are 11 more. I hope to feature all of them as their stories come in. And as tempting as it is to play by the rules of others and just show 11 pictures of the same child dressed in different colors, I won’t insult your intelligence.