Volunteer Recognition Day 2024

Apr 20, 2024 | Blog, News, Volunteers

Our Social Media Guru, Jacquie asked me to write up something about our volunteers.
I thought how can I make people understand just how important, amazing and wonderful each one of them is? I don’t want to start naming names as I wouldn’t want to miss anyone.
Jacquie even said “no help from Ai” – so that means you will see all my many periods indicating I am taking a breath- HA!!! And my multiple exclamation points ‘cause I get so excited and tickled.
Jacquie has been sharing regular posts about our volunteers so you will be learning more about them individually. For now, I am going to talk about the collective.
FIRST – I must tell you about Jacquie. I often share this story about her. Jacquie is the friend, confidant, and HWAH Team member who keeps me on the straight and narrow.
I am the one who gets excited about going for a picnic across the lake to the little island. Jacquie is the one who makes sure there are no holes in the boat, the oars are ready, and that we have a picnic lunch packed AND she will have checked the weather for the way there and the way back. I can only hope all of you have a Jacquie in your life! HWAH and I would be lost without her.
 I live in a this big comfortable house with all the residents, pups, cat, fish, turtle and guinea pig as well as any visiting pups. That means there are usually up to 27 critters that need 24/7 care here with me.
Some nights I fall into bed past midnight with clothes on, the heating pad, and Joie to snuggle with. Morning comes so fast and often I must jump up and run downstairs immediately as someone will be barking to go out and there will be potty accidents to clean up, diapers to change, medications, and breakfast to get started.
Many days, it isn’t until hours later that I realize I need to wash my face and comb my hair before the volunteers arrive!
And volunteers arriving isn’t a good enough description of who they are…. They are, indeed, my saving grace… they are 100% the wind beneath my wings, and the glue that holds me together.
Many of these incredibly kind folks have been with us for over 10 years!
They keep the Sanctuary clean, organized, comfortable, and safe for the critters. They are inside, outside, and all over the place, making sure that a myriad of tasks are taken care of. The work of keeping a Sanctuary running smoothly and efficiently is never-ending. And their dedication is awe-inspiring!
While our HWAH Team is always busy caring for the residents and ensuring they have everything they need – they also take care of ME!!!
They make me feel special, cared for, and loved. They bring me flowers, and sometimes a Starbucks coffee treat. 😊 Special yummy food comes my way because everyone knows I LOVE TO EAT!!! I get hugs and uplifting emails and texts. On holidays someone is always checking in with me to make sure I am not forgotten. I have conversations about what is going on in their lives, and they make me feel included.
I have folks who come to watch special TV shows with me as it is often more enjoyable to share that experience, I have some who will talk with me about the books we are reading, and I love to hear stories about their vacations, their families, and to look at the photos on their phones.
A few years ago, I sold my new van as after 2 years it only had 500 miles on it! Uber or a friend seemed a better option if I ever needed to go to an appointment and I could then use the funds to put up more shelter for the pups so they could go out even if it was raining or snowing.
Since I rarely leave the Sanctuary – all of the incredible folks who come to volunteer not only help the residents, but they bring the outside world to me. My life is fuller and richer because of my volunteer FAMILY!!! For me VOLUNTEERS = MY FAMILY!! So LOVED!!!