Taeler Hendrix, a 29 year old Massachusetts native and her rescue dachshund Slinky are setting out to change the world one foot and paw at a time. Together, their efforts are revolutionizing how people view millennials and activism. According to Taeler, leaving the world better than how you found it has been a lifelong mentality of hers. She says, “it’s 2019, and I firmly believe that no one should be homeless, jobless, going hungry, lack healthcare, protection, or livable wages. I want children to have childhoods. I want animals to find forever homes. I want a country where we care for the sick, the elderly, the veterans, the disabled, and address climate change. These are issues that have had a direct impact on my life giving me the passion to advocate for them. I’m blessed to overcome the odds and live my dreams every day. I want to pay that forward. I firmly believe that to affect change all you need is love, guts, and gumption…”
Living by example and fueled with purpose Taeler decided to involve herself her dog and her fans in many different causes nationwide. She tells us that she was lucky to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a Pro Wrestler and lucky to rescue her dog Slinky. She’s blessed that people believe in what they’re doing. With that powerful momentum they’ve been on a journey she likes to call, “A Dachshund Makes A Difference,” explaining, “my ultimate goal is for our contributions to transform into an accredited non-profit encompassing all of these passions. Thus leaving our mark on this world representing what we stand for long after him and I are gone.” Their first big venture together came after seeing a documentary called “Life According to Sam,” which introduced Taeler to the story of Sam Berns and the genetic disorder Progeria. Inspired by Sam’s outlook on life, Taeler and Slinky dove right in deciding to utilizing their wrestling appearances/social media to raise awareness and money towards finding a cure for Progeria. Taeler happily informs us that Progeria Research recently announced they’re awaiting FDA approval on a drug from their last clinical trial. Such a proud moment for all involved.
Always multitasking, Taeler at the same time began collecting prom dresses for young girls after watching a news segment about girls not being able to afford prom dresses. The cause struck home on an emotional level for Taeler as she explains how she herself couldn’t afford her prom dress. The dean of Taeler’s high school heard about this predicament from a fellow student and took it upon herself to find a seamstress who then made Taeler a replica of her dream prom dress. In response to the powerful segment Taeler reached out to her fans and fellow female athletes alike to collect prom dresses for girls so that they too could experience being the Belle of the Ball. Fast on the heels of that success, Slinky and Taeler aimed to start another venture this time directed towards animals. They started collecting old sweatshirts to repurpose into pet beds for No Kill Shelters. Every time Taeler was traveling making in ring appearances she’d find local shelters to drop off her donations. Taeler says, “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – right?” She pointedly remarks that one aspect of their projects almost always comes back to the idea of recycling. Adding to this, they’ve done videos talking to their fans about different ways to help their communities and use those funds to provide necessities to shelters.
Taeler elaborates on how her experiences working in a nursing home and later on as a preschool teacher influenced several of her next projects. Taeler had this idea to start collecting used crayons for a charity that would recycle them into brand new crayons for kids. Support for this was outstanding – collecting over 40lbs! Taeler tells us this cause was near to her heart as she can still remember the first Christmas her mom was able to afford presents one of which was a box of crayons. Working with National Pro Wrestling League, Taeler helped provide over 5,000 meals in 2018 with the goal of feeding more families this year. On days off, she takes Slinky to visit nursing homes and to bring non-violent films to veterans homes. Taeler describes the joy Slinky gives to the elderly and we can’t help but smile! This dachshund loves the visits as much as they do bringing them much needed happiness and events to look forward to.
Currently, Taeler is in the process of collecting jackets, blankets, and other basic necessities with interest in joining the Little Free Pantry Movement. All donations will be anonymous and will be for people in need along with their pets. Taeler leaves us with this lasting statement: “whether it’s used crayons, sweatshirt pet beds, free pantries, prom dresses, pet sanctuaries, or finding cures for diseases – I want to do it all and I know we aren’t alone with these goals. Afterall, any adventure worth having begins with a foot and paw stepping out your door! Helping Hands Happy Hearts ‘will’ be a non-profit that we can all look forward to in the future. A dachshund really can make a difference and so can you! All you need is the love to inspire you, the guts to push forward and do it, and the gumption to see it through.”
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