’05 Brookwood Alumni Starts Volunteer Program

05 Brookwood Alumni Starts Volunteer Program

Gracie Green, Editor-in-Chief

Danielle Sims, also known as Dani Sims, has started a new volunteer program as of 2021. The service is called Friends of Francis and its intent is to support recovering addicts as they make the decision to enter substance use treatment. Friends of Francis offers to foster pets while their owner attends treatment, and furthermore, Dani Sims and her fiancee will work to find forever homes for pets if their owner realizes that they cannot care for them once out of rehab. Friends of Francis is not limited to helping those entering rehabilitation. Sims and her team have also helped local families affected by homelessness during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

The program is very personal to Sims, as she is a recovering heroin addict, who has also spent time in rehab. Sims states, “A lot of people who have substance use disorder sever connection with their families or friends, and a lot of times, those who have pets treat their pet as their best friend and their main support. When they decide they want to recover, they decide to not go to treatment because they are scared of leaving their pet.” The program started when she reached out on social media and asked if people would be interesting in becoming fosters for pets and she received a lot of support. Friends of Francis started over a year and a half ago, and since it started, it has helped foster around thirty-five pets.

According to Sims, she picked the name Francis because one of her idols is Saint Francis of Assisi, who loved animals and preached to birds. Friends of Francis is not yet a non-profit organization. Sims hopes that within the next few months, she will get the 501 forms filed to officially make Friends of Francis a non-profit organization so that they may receive funding and grants to help in assisting more people.