How to Help

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss

The Exceptional Sidekicks Service Dogs is forever grateful for your gifts of both time and money. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit philanthropy organization financially supported by your generous tax deductible donations, corporation and foundation giving campaigns, and bequests or other planned gifts. We need you! Currently, Service dogs are provided to teens and young adults that reside in Newtown at NO COST and at a significantly reduced rate to others across Connecticut. We also offer an owner trained program where we assist them in training their own psychiatric service dogs. We wish we could provide a service dog immediately to everyone that needs one; so many are ready to start their healing today with your generous support we can make strides towards our goal.

Three ways to help today:


Our waitlist is always unreasonably long and we are forced to turn people away constantly. It breaks our heart to turn away desperate children and parents that have tried all other therapeutic approaches. These kids need help and they need help now. Please understand they struggle every single day to live an independent life like their peers. None of them want to need a service dog and they would gladly leave their service dogs home if they could. They might be fighting suicidal ideation, they might be in severe pain, they might pass out at any moment, or they might completely shut down because they have suffered from the effects of gun violence, physical assault, rape, or severe bullying.


It takes a village to raise these dogs and our village is filled with some very exceptional people. We always need volunteers to lend a hand at our events, fundraisers, and to join our committees. Our Board of Directors is made up completely of volunteers helping to grow our program and promote awareness to the incredible need of psychiatric service dogs in our community. Please consider joining us in making a difference in small and big ways every single day.


Our puppy raisers are our most important volunteers. They have made a commitment to open their hearts and homes to our puppies and help to nurture and prepare them to become amazing service dogs. Puppy raising has to be one of the most selfless acts of volunteerism and we are forever in debt to these amazing people. There are lots of kids to help and we need more generous, caring people to raise our dogs.  If you know anyone interested please let them know about our program and encourage them to reach out to us today.


Our dogs need to be comfortable flying with their new handlers. With your gift we will take short flights that expose the dog to airport security lines, foot traffic, rolling bags, people movers, and a stressful/hectic environment. On the plane the dog will learn to back into the footwell, lay quietly during the flight, ignore all of the new sights and smells, stay calm during takeoff and landing, and deal with air pressure changes. The last thing we want is for an anxious flyer to have an anxious dog. The IRS recognizes award points and miles as a gift or an award from the corporation to the individual. Therefore, points and frequent flier miles donated to us are not considered tax deductible.

You can support our mission by donating appreciated assets like stocks, securities, real estate, or works of art.  This one time gift provides us with ongoing operations and endowment funding, allowing us to expand and shorten the current 2 year wait for most people needing a psychiatric service dog. You may also benefit from an income tax charitable deduction at the current market value and not pay capital gains tax on the asset’s appreciation.

Double your donation today! Many employers offer matching gifts programs in which your contribution is matched by your company with a donation of its own, usually dollar for dollar. In effect, your contribution is doubled and sometimes even tripled. Companies often want to support nonprofit organizations that operate in their own local areas. Contact your human resources department to see if you employer participates. If you already sent your donation without checking it may not be too late – check with your human resources department for their filing deadlines. Most employees match gifts from the current year.

Please use the DONATE button at the top of the page to make an online contribution.

Personal one-time donations may be mailed to:
The Exceptional Sidekick,
3 Simm Lane, Newtown, CT 06470
or consider a reoccurring donation through a payroll deduction or monthly credit card charge.

A simple and automatic way for you to support The Exceptional Sidekick every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, but with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price. These donations are tremendously valuable to our program.


Gift Certificates for training equipment, harnesses, leashes, etc.
Local Pet Stores

Donate Tickets for Local Training Trips for the dogs:
Metro North Passes
Museums & Aquariums
Amusement Parks


Gifts of this nature secure the future of our mission. You can leave a legacy that will transform the lives of so many, regardless of your income.  contributions to our legacy planned giving program enable us to continue our goal of helping others live independently through the use of our  wonderful dogs. Please contact your financial adviser and attorney for guidance on how to make a difference for years to come.


Remembering us in your will or trust is easy to do. Simply provide a specific dollar amount or other property.  You may also designate that The Exceptional Sidekick receive a specified percentage of your estate assets.
I give and bequeath to The Exceptional Sidekick, Inc., 3 Simm Rd, Newtown, CT the sum of $________ (or specific asset or _____ percent of the remainder of my estate) to be used for its general charitable purposes.


You can also support The Exceptional Sidekick, Inc.’s important life-changing mission by naming us as the partial or sole beneficiary of your IRA, 401(K), 403(B) or other retirement assets. This is a wonderful way to donate in addition to helping us today or if you are unable to do so immediately, but want to help change lives for the better in the future. Estate planners often recommend that you designate all or a portion of the assets to a charitable organization; by leaving such assets to us you can pass other assets to your heirs which may lower the tax burden. Retirement plan assets may be subject to both income and estate taxes.


You can support us by naming the Exceptional Sidekick, Inc. as the partial or sole beneficiary of your life insurance policy. This is a wonderful way for your legacy to live on and truly help others in need. If you transfer ownership of the policy to us during your lifetime, you may also qualify for an income tax charitable deduction and you may deduct the cost of future premium payments.


This is literally a gift that keeps giving and allows us to expand the number of wonderful dogs we raise and place; an amazing a gift option that provides a stream of income to The Exceptional Sidekick Inc. for the term of the trust. At the end of the term the remaining value is usually paid to the donor’s heirs at appreciated values with favorable tax implications. These trusts can be quite complicated and do require tax and estate advisory advice. Here are the basics of how it works: You transfer cash, securities or other property to a trust.  You receive a gift tax deduction. During its term, the trust pays a fixed amount each year to The Exceptional Sidekick, Inc. When the trust ends, its remaining principal passes to your family or other heirs you name. Trust growth passes to them tax-free.