Volunteers of the Month single view | PAWS Chicago

Cheryl Lawrence

Volunteering at PAWS Chicago is awesome. I can work with other great volunteers, spend time in an effort I am passionate about and truly make a difference in the overall culture of Chicago.

What originally drew you to PAWS Chicago?  How long have you been a volunteer/When did you begin volunteering? 

As a Christmas gift one year, my son arranged for both of us to volunteer at PAWS Chicago together.  He was well aware of my love and long history with dogs and this was a great opportunity for us to spend some meaningful time together.  I did some research on the mission, contributions of PAWS in our Chicago community, and I knew it would both be fun and ultimately a great place for me to share my time and talents with.

Do you have a primary focus when you volunteer? 

I am a real dog person so I spend all my time in Dog Town. Walking dogs, cleaning and helping potential adopters find their perfect pet.

Is there one favorite experience or fondest memory/animal story that has stood out or touched your heart during your time as a volunteer at PAWS Chicago? 

I have nothing but positive feelings and thoughts of my time volunteering at PAWS.  However, my absolute favorite would be my most recent experience fostering a dog that was up for adoption. I was asked to foster Gloria who was rescued by PAWS.  As a couple days turned into a week, and one week turned in to two, my family and I fell in love with Gloria.  We ultimately adopted her and she is now an integral part of our family.

How does what do you do for a career apply to what you do as a volunteer? 

I do not work outside the home and have spent most of my life managing our household and raising our two children who are now out on their own and doing great.  I now have the time to share my time, talents and educational background in the benefit of others and because of my deep love for the welfare of dogs, PAWS was a great fit.

Why do you volunteer for PAWS Chicago?  What do you enjoy the most about your experiences a volunteer? 

I love that PAWS is a No Kill shelter. We really do absolutely everything we can to find a loving and permanent home for our dogs. Just as important is the outreach to underserved communities. PAWS is not just finding forever homes for dogs and cats, it's helping solve the problem through their spay and neuter program.

Do you have any PAWS Chicago alumni pets - or any other pets - at home? 

We have our Jack Russell Terrier, Cali who is now 16.5 and our new child Gloria who will be 7 in August.

Have you participated in any PAWS Chicago special events that supports animals? 

Over my time at PAWS, my daughter Courtney and I have helped with both the Beach Party and Angles with Tails annual events.  I also participate with most media events, in particular the weekly CBS Pet of the Week segments.

What value has volunteering at PAWS Chicago brought you?  Anything else you'd like to share regarding your experiences as a PAWS Chicago volunteer? 

Volunteering at PAWS Chicago is awesome.  I can work with other great volunteers, spend time in an effort I am passionate about and truly make a difference in the overall culture of Chicago.