I volunteer with amazing families that love animals and are curious about PAWS and its mission. Parents donate their time and support their children in volunteering. It's rewarding to get to know them, watch them succeed and become seasoned volunteers over time.
How long have you been volunteering with PAWS Chicago? What originally drew you to the organization?
I've been volunteering with PAWS Chicago for almost seven years now. I was looking to get involved in the community and decided that PAWS would be a great fit. I wanted to understand how PAWS was impacting Chicago on many different levels - outreach, adoption, education; especially since both of my cats were strays.
Which PAWS Chicago programs/areas do you volunteer in and why?
I volunteer with the Family Service Program, as the Family Service Coordinator. After volunteering in Kitty City regularly on the weekends, I was looking to get more involved and was asked to be a host. This forced me to I stepped outside my comfort zone as being a presenter for new volunteer and interacting with dogs. In no time, I was hosting every weekend and grew to understand the importance of the Family Service Program to PAWS. I also loved seeing the same family volunteers and meeting new ones.
Do you have a favorite experience or memory from your time as a volunteer?
My favorite moments are seeing the families grow and take ownership of the program. It's great to watch a family start out sweeping and mopping common areas, then 'graduate' to cleaning the suites in Kitty City and eventually helping out in Dog Town. Occasionally, family volunteers aren't comfortable working with cats or dogs, and, I can help them get comfortable interacting with our cats or dogs.
What motivates you to continue volunteering with PAWS Chicago?
The families are my motivation. Each week, I volunteer with amazing families that love animals and are curious about PAWS and its mission. Parents donate their time and support their children in volunteering. It's rewarding to get to know them, watch them succeed and become seasoned volunteers over time.
Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer?
Don't settle -- explore the different programs PAWS offers volunteers until you find something that fits you - you can be an adoption counselor, admin support, presenter, Medical Center volunteer, or a Family Service Host!