Collaborating with fellow nonprofits and business leaders is key for CMM Cares, a charitable foundation with a vision of making a difference in the lives of Long Island families. We’ve recently worked with the Guide Dog Foundation, a Smithtown-based national nonprofit organization that trains and places guide dogs for individuals who are blind, visually impaired or have other disabilities, to identify a career change dog that could be matched with one of our 2021 Adopted Families.
In 2021, CMM Cares supported three families including The Neikens and their son, Casey. Casey is a 13-year-old boy who was diagnosed shortly after birth with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a group of rare diseases that cause fragile, blistering skin. With our funds raised and the support of the business community, we were able to make significant changes to Casey’s life which were celebrated at our annual Wine & Dine Gala in September of last year.
After introducing John Miller, president, and CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation, to Casey’s father John Niekens, the Guide Dog Foundation was able to identify a career change black Labrador Retriever that has now been adopted into the Neikens family! The dog provides Casey with companionship in his everyday activities and allows Casey to enjoy the natural therapeutic support that comes with forming a close bond with a dog in the comfort of his own home.
“I want to thank CMM Cares for introducing us to John Miller and the Guide Dog Foundation,” Beth Neikens, mother of Casey, says. “Our dog is an absolute joy. Casey is such a different kid, so happy and so full of energy. She is the absolute perfect, sweetest little dog.”
“The Guide Dog Foundation is proud to work with a great partner like CMM Cares in placing this career change dog with the Neikens family,” said John Miller. “It is so impactful when local nonprofits can join forces on initiatives like this. We are eager to watch the bond grow between Casey and the pup and work with CMM Cares on future projects.”
“We are so thankful for the Guide Dog Foundation and their generous offering for the Neikens family,” says Victoria Tringone, Executive Director of CMM Cares. “By working together with organizations like the Guide Dog Foundation, we can compound our efforts and continue supporting our Adopted Families beyond our yearlong commitment.”
Following a successful year, we are pleased to share that we are able to support two families for 2022! Learn more about them and how you can get involved here.