Wanda Bevington founded Personal Guardianship Services
in 2003, and since that time, the nonprofit has served the needs of its clients by helping them make integral financial and medical decisions.
“We’re court-appointed decision-makers,” Bevington says. “But we’re also that family member they don’t have.”
According to Bevington, no one wants to have a guardian, so it’s important to make the experience as meaningful as possible.
One way the guardians
do that is by taking their personal pets, Haylee, Mocha, Sadie and Thor, respectively, along with them on nursing and group home visits.
“We had a client, and it initially seemed like there wasn’t anything we could do to connect with her,” Bevington says. “So we went to the nursing home, knocked on her door, and asked, ‘Do you like dogs?’ And the response was, 'No, I love dogs!’ And it’s that conversation piece—it calms people down—just being able to pet the dogs.”
Oftentimes, the visits from the guardians and their dogs are the only ones PGS clients have to look forward to; so the organization takes an initially difficult-to-accept situation for an individual and turns the experience into a positive one.
“We try to visit our clients every month, or someone from the office visits them every month. Even if it’s not a guardian, they really look forward to it,” Bevington says. “And once they begin to connect with us—most of our clients don’t have any visitors at all—it just really helps them.”
PGS if you're interested in becoming a board member, or if you would like to support the organization.
• If you are a local groomer, contact Wanda
if you would be interested in donating your services. Dogs require frequent grooming because of clients' fragile skin.
• PGS just joined Facebook. Help welcome them to the social networking community by liking their page
and sharing it with your friends.
By Brittany York
Brittany York is a professor of English composition at the University of Cincinnati and a project manager for Charitable Words. She also edits the For Good section of SoapboxMedia.