Community service

BU students help non-profit organizations through a community service project

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Stand with me is a nonprofit organization near the Pennsylvania border that specializes in helping train veterans of the armed forces and their service dogs to work as a team.

Recently, director and training instructor Francess McMahon, says she noticed the need for a second entrance to her building among other things to do. She heard about PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) through a friend and knew she wanted them to help her.

PwC President and Vice President Leila Sayan and Ben Sorensen said that when they received the application, they felt the project was a perfect fit.

“Veterans with mental health issues often cannot get service dogs. Most of the time they are not treated as if they have a disability, whereas veterans with physical disabilities can get service dogs through the VA. We saw this as a great opportunity to provide these veterans with a place to gather, to be able to spend time with their dog, and to get the training they need. It will be so beneficial for their lives,” Sorensen said.

So the PwC team got to work, fundraising in the 2021/22 school year to bring in over $16,000 for the project. When the opportunity arose, they were able to drive over to McMahon’s property and get to work. PwC Scholars, along with Habitat for Humanity, took over the property. McMahon says she is beyond grateful for the work they have done so far.

“It’s great whenever we apply for a grant or have a fun store and we’re chosen as the recipients, there’s always time for a happy dance,” she said.

McMahon says the renovations include a new covered exterior staircase, a path to the stairs, and new signage. The director says having a new staircase helps create two entrances to his second-floor training room, as well as access for veterans to meet and mingle with their dogs at any time. Above all, she says that she is proud to give back to those who have served our country.

“Their military experience that they have volunteered for us and the result of their service has made them disabled and how much we owe them.”

For more information on the PwC Scholors program at Binghamton University, you can visit their page here.

For more information on ‘Stand with Me’, you can visit their page here.