BendBroadband employee voted Volunteer of the Quarter

BendBroadband employee voted Volunteer of the Quarter

Who said volunteering can’t be something you truly love to do?

Guide-Dogs-Logo.jpg Kim Lyon, an administrative assistant in Bend, Oregon, is one of BendBroadband’s newest volunteers of the quarter. Since she was eight years old, she’s been training puppies into guide dogs to help blind and low-vision individuals gain independence. For nearly 23 years, she’s been accomplishing this feat through the work she’s done as a club leader and a puppy trainer at Guide Dogs for the Blind Inc.—an industry-leading, nonprofit guide dog school.

“I was eight years old when my family got our first puppy,” said Kim. “I instantly fell in love with puppy raising and I got involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind shortly after.”

Guide Dogs for the Blind has been forging exceptional partnerships between people, dogs and communities since 1942. Today, the non-profit is the largest guide dog school in North America with over 300 employees and 3,000 volunteers across 10 states.

Kim-Lyon-Winward.jpgPuppy raisers like Kim receive a puppy when the dogs are around eight weeks old. They train them for the first year and a half of their lives on everything from potty and leash training to advanced discipline.

After 15 months, the puppies become eligible for formal command training at one of the nonprofit’s two campuses in San Rafael, California, and Boring, Oregon. The San Rafael campus is the national headquarters, located 20 miles north of San Francisco. It’s state-of-the-art, and situated on 11 acres of park-like setting. It includes corporate administration offices, advanced residence buildings, puppy centers, and a veterinary clinic.

Since 1998, Kim has helped train 10 puppies grow into loving and intelligent companions for visually impaired people. While experiencing the joy that comes with raising puppies is huge for Kim, it isn’t the only reason she loves working with Guide Dogs for the Blind. Perhaps her favorite part of working with the organization is seeing the culmination of her efforts on ‘Graduation Day.’

Kim-Lyon-Nectar.jpg“Graduation Day is when we’re invited to present the dog to the person they’ve been paired with,” said Kim. “It’s always been a really special experience to share with that person.”

Kim was nominated for Volunteer of the Quarter honors by account executive, Mindy Pratt.

“Kim dedicates a tremendous amount of heart and patience into improving the lives of others,” said Mindy. “Training these dogs to help someone live independently requires countless hours of work and dedication, and she’s done it selflessly for years.”

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