Kirstian Warkins, Board Member

Kirstian Warkins, who lives in Louisville, CO, volunteers on the Board of Directors for Paws for Patrick as Development Chair. This job is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do. Our mission is to connect young people with Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) to aid them as they live with mental health illness, and Kirstian oversees this process. When a client completes a questionnaire on our website indicating they are seeking our help, she contacts them first and will then connect them to a volunteer Wish Granter, who will handle his or her “case” from that point forward.

Kirstian is both Fronzie’s sister and Patrick’s Godmother. Her work with us is deeply personal and she can both see and feel the impact this is making on the clients we help. “It’s so nice we can honor him in this way, and especially with animals – they always made him so happy. Patrick was supposed to come out here to Colorado for college. This is one of the things that makes it especially devastating. We were all hoping to spend more time with him. I think for kids they should know they can reinvent themselves once they go off to college. Growing up is hard. High school is hard. I know people talk about mental health so much more now, but it doesn’t stop this from happening. They’re kids and they think this is not fixable. I wish they could give it a minute; give it a day and talk to somebody.”

Kirstian is Mom to her own three kids, Valerie (21), Joseph (20), and Tommy (18), and she works part time as a bookkeeper for their family business. “I think animals are great for kids because the kids are responsible for caring for the animals, which in turn makes them care more about themselves as caregivers. Some of the kids who come to us for help may not be ready for the responsibility, but our answer is never ‘no’ – it just might have to be ‘not right now’ and we will be here. But it’s that unconditional love you get with a pet . . . the therapeutic benefits of that love are just undeniable.”

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