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Pops For Pups working to establish endowment for Canine FETCH Unit

McCain Childress has been raising money for nonprofits since she was in the fifth grade. Now, the Upstate teenager is working to fund a $100,000 endowment for the Canine F.E.T.C.H. Unit at Prisma Health Upstate before she graduates from high school.

On her last day of fifth grade, McCain and each of her classmates were given $5 by their teacher with instructions to either donate the $5 to a charity or to purchase something to sell and donate the proceeds to a nonprofit of their choice.

“I bought popsicles with my $5 and I raised a little over a thousand dollars for the Georgia SPCA,” McCain said. “My teacher passed away from breast cancer, so when I moved here, I wanted to continue this in honor of her.”

After moving to Greenville from Atlanta, McCain met Prisma Health’s Canine F.E.T.C.H. Unit at a local event and decided to start a fundraising organization called Pops For Pups to support it. To date, the high school freshman has raised $40,000 of the $100,000 needed to establish the endowment.

Canine F.E.T.C.H. (Friends Encouraging Therapeutic Coping and Healing) is the health system’s animal-assisted therapy program for patients and their families. Facility dogs are expertly trained dogs who partner with a handler to care for patients.

One of the most valuable qualities of facility dogs is the unconditional love and attention they give to everyone with whom they interact. In a health care environment, activities such as grooming, feeding, snuggling and playing fetch with a facility dog can aid patients in medical rehabilitation and psychiatric programs.

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There are seven full-time facility dogs that provide support and care to patients while they are in the hospital – four that work with children and three with adults.

“What McCain is doing is so great for us because this is a fully donor and philanthropically funded program,” said Prisma Health’s Katelyn Leitner. “Our endowments are a huge deal because that is what enables our dogs to show up and go to work every day.”

Want to help?

You can donate to Pops For Pups via the website at popsforpups.com or Text to Give: 41444 POPSFORPUPS.

Follow @popsforpups on Facebook and Instagram to see what events the organization will be attending across the Upstate.

To learn more about the Canine F.E.T.C.H. Unit, click HERE.


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