By Kim O'Leary
The global “Intel Involved Hero Award” looks at the more than 100,000 Intel employees around the world and seeks to shine a spotlight on extraordinary volunteers who have had major impacts on their communities. Intel heroes are generally remarkable for their selflessness, creating meaningful change to make the world a better place.
For 2018, Intel Ireland and Leixlip’s own Susan O’Neil has been nominated for the global Intel Hero Award.
Susan has been volunteering since 2010 and consistently exceeds over 500 volunteer hours per year. Through her work with DSPCA and Dogs for the Disabled, she has combined her love of dogs with her passion for helping people.
Susan began her journey as a volunteer animal carer with the DSPCA; walking the shelter dogs and cleaning kennels. Her commitment did not go unnoticed and she was invited into the training and rehabilitation team, where she studied to become a qualified dog trainer and personally trained more than 100 dogs per year. She then became a founding member of 'Kingofpaws' a venture to help self-fund the shelter.
Susan also volunteers with “Dogs for the Disabled,” a very unique charity which provides assistance dogs to adults and children with physical disabilities. Dogs for the disabled have just two full-time staff members fo Susan’s support is vital in helping them achieve their goals.
In addition to training the puppies, Susan arranges fundraising events to raise the profile of these charities, teaches classes and helps coordinate local fostering and transport. She also spent a large portion of 2016 further up skilling to become a diabetes assistance dog trainer.
Unsurprisingly, given her dedication to these charities, Susan has clocked up over 4,000 hours work since 2010 with both organisations. Her work has had an enormous impact on both charities, and consequently the many families who benefit from the work that they do.
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