By Jennie Baxla, Volunteer Coordinator
Heather Saxe came to SICSA 20 years ago to adopt a kitten, and after she saw the tiny house SICSA was located in at the time, she decided she just had to volunteer there. Since that time, Heather has become an essential member of SICSA’s volunteer force, donating her time in a variety of ways. Not only does she foster kittens and cats, but she assists with fundraising and special events, and is a member of Friends of SICSA (FOS). Heather jokes that being a member of FOS doesn’t leave her with much free time, but she also enjoys watching movies, trying new restaurants, taking road trips, and shopping for bargains, particularly at Joann Fabrics (no doubt for material for FOS’s many crafts). While she mentions that there are many fun events surrounding FOS, there are times that events aren’t as much fun, due to extreme weather or lackluster sales. She and the other FOS members just remind themselves that all of the money they raise is directly benefiting the animals at SICSA that they love so much.
Heather has stuck with SICSA for so long because it’s important for her to give back. She says, “There are thousands of worthwhile organizations that need help, and SICSA is the one that’s important to me.” She continues, “The regular ‘kitten fix’ helps, too.” She loves volunteering at SICSA because of the rare ability animals have to turn a bad day into a good one, and a good day into an even better day. Not only that, but she’s made many good friends during her time here at SICSA.
Since Heather has been here for almost 20 years, she has accumulated many memories over that time. Some, however, stick in her mind more than others. She remembers fostering two shy cats named Big Boy and Little Girl, who became very popular during their time at SICSA. Their owner had died and they were very depressed, often hiding in Heather’s foster room with their paws covering their faces for weeks. After several months of Heather tiptoeing around and showing a great deal of patience, offering gentle pets to them whenever they’d let her, they went back to SICSA, where they were adopted out separately. Unfortunately, as does sometimes happen with adoptions, they were both returned. It was for the best, however, because their new forever family was still waiting for them. Eventually they were adopted together and have adjusted very well to life in their new home, coming out of their depression and becoming active, loving cats. Heather says that being part of their journey to happiness means the world to her.
Heather says, “SICSA offers me so many things – loving pets, volunteer opportunities, community services, and an entire social network. I can’t imagine not being a part of it!” We can’t imagine it either. Thank you, Heather, for your many years of service and dedication!