Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! of the Month – Tabitha Bell – August 2018

By Victoria Feng, Editor-in-Chief

 

Quote of the Month

“There’s always tomorrow and so look towards the future and pursue your dreams no matter how hard you think it will be.”
-Tabitha Bell, 18-year-old founder of Pawsitive Pawsibilities

August Amazing Kid! of The Month

The beginning of August also marks the beginning of the school year for most students.  Being able to receive an education and learning essential skills is important for the future.  However, disabilities could hinder a student’s ability to learn.

After being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, there were periods of time where Tabitha couldn’t even go to school.  Getting her service dog allowed her to do more things on her own, including going back to school again and being able to hang with her friends there.  She started the nonprofit organization Pawsitive Pawsibilities to help those in a similar situation and can’t afford to buy a service dog.  She has already raised $100,000 for the cause.

Keep reading to find out more about Tabitha and Pawsitive Pawsibilities!

Turning Struggles into Serving Others

During elementary school, Tabitha was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, which weakens the muscles.  She was told that she would eventually need to use a wheelchair in high school, which she didn’t want.  Instead, Tabitha’s parents bought her a service dog named Sunny.

Getting Sunny was a life-changing experience for Tabitha.  She was able to walk, even taking her doctor by surprise.  During her elementary and middle school years, Tabitha couldn’t go to school or hang out with her friends.  Finally, she could go to school, with Sunny by her side.

However, her doctor told her that there were many other patients that couldn’t afford a service dog, which costs around $10,000 to $20,000.  In hopes of being able to change someone else’s life like Sunny had changed hers, Tabitha started the organization Pawsitive Paws.

Tabitha with a girl with a service dog.

A Community Working Together

Tabitha has raised money using a variety of fundraising methods.  She has done a few at her middle and high schools, such as a uniform free-dress competition at both.  Recently, she organized the first annual Superpaws 5K and Sunny’s Spring Sing Benefit Concert of 2017.

The Superpaws 5K is not only for local participants, but nationwide.  The first Superpaws 5K was in Utah, but this October, Pawsitive Pawsibilities will be having their second 5K in California.

Students who are interested in helping can join Puppy Paws.  Puppy Paws inspires kids to raise money for Pawsitive Pawsibilities, whether through donating their own money or offering a good/service to earn money.  Pawsitive Pawsibilities hopes that through Puppy Paws, kids can recognize the importance of helping others.

Tabitha is actively thinking of new ways to fundraise.

Making a Difference

To date, Tabitha has been able to raise $100,000 and is working on getting a match with their tenth dog.  Even as she heads off to college this fall, Tabitha will still lead Pawsitive Pawsibilities and work on getting more service dogs and owners paired up.

Pawsitive Pawsibilities gets contacted by doctors, physical therapists, and others who need a service dog.  They work collaboratively with trainers to get the best service dog match.

She plans to pursue a degree in political economy at the University of Berkeley this fall.  By pursuing political economy, Tabitha learn skills to help make a difference in the world.  She says, “I would hope we could see each other as individuals and appreciate how all of our different backgrounds combine to make the world a more beautiful place.”

We wish the best of luck to Tabitha and Pawsitive Pawsibilities!

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