By: Jennie Baxla, Volunteer Coordinator
This National Volunteer Week, I’ve been reflecting on how wonderful SICSA’s volunteers are. I’m sure every organization feels that way about their volunteers, but I truly believe SICSA’s are the best of the best. I often find myself surprised at just how dedicated our volunteers are to SICSA and how often they come through for us. In 2014 alone, 460 individual volunteers donated over 14,000 hours of their time. This importance of this gift is immeasurable. SICSA volunteers give so much of their time because they love animals, and know that they are making a difference in the lives all of SICSA’s dogs and cats. What they may not realize is how much of a difference they are making in the lives of anyone touched by SICSA, including adopters, members of the public, and SICSA staff members. We hope our volunteers know how much we appreciate their hard work and passion for helping animals! Here are just a few of the reasons we love them:
- They care about the animals.
Ask any SICSA volunteer about their favorite animals and they’ll have trouble picking just one. They might tell you about an animal who was adopted years ago, but who has never left their mind. They’ll also probably tell you about their current favorite animal in the kennel, if they can pick just one. SICSA volunteers care about these animals as if they were their own.
- They are always there when we need them.
We ask for a lot of volunteer help at SICSA. We sometimes need help, with little notice, and SICSA volunteers always come through. Last year, right before Thanksgiving, our washing machine broke. Dirty laundry started piling up, but within ten minutes of sending out a call for help, we had numerous replies from volunteers offering assistance. SICSA volunteers do what needs to be done, no matter what.
- They’re in it for the long haul.
Some of our volunteers have been here as long as SICSA has existed – 41 years! They’ve stuck with SICSA through thick and thin, and we are so grateful for their long service and their continued passion for helping all animals. We’re also continuously getting new volunteers who are interested in joining the SICSA team. They are just as passionate about helping SICSA and the animals here and we look forward to working with them for many years!
- They support our staff members.
Working at SICSA is mostly puppy kisses and kitten cuddles, but there are hard days, just like at any job. When the going gets tough, we lean on our volunteers. Not only do volunteers literally support staff members by helping with regular duties, but they offer a kind word any time a staff member might need it.
- They care about, and are integral to, SICSA’s success.
Volunteers are essential to fulfilling SICSA’s mission. They love our animals, walking dogs daily and socializing our most playful kittens to our most undersocialized stray cats. Our volunteers not only walk dogs and socialize cats, but they help us with offsite events, admin work and vet check, adoptions, and organizing fundraising and special events. Dedicated groups like Friends of SICSA (FOS) raise money for SICSA every year. Pet-Facilitated Therapy volunteers and Paw Partners take our animals out into the community, giving them much needed socialization and exercise, while providing a service to some of the most underserved in our community, and our fosters open their homes to animals most in need. This National Volunteer Week, we’d like to thank ALL of our volunteers for supporting SICSA and our animals. We could not do this without you! Are you interested in becoming part of SICSA’s dedicated volunteer force? Apply today at www.sicsa.org/volunteer.