Volunteers. The unsung heroes of the non-profit world. They come in before the sun rises, stay long after the sun sets and dedicate their leisure time working for HALO. (Leisure time working? That’s an oxymoron, right?) They put their own personal needs and wants aside to fulfill their responsibilities as a volunteer, often forfeiting weekends and evenings to clean kennels and litter boxes, walk dogs, work events and write grants. I could keep going but you get the idea. They often get Clorox hands (you know what I’m talking about), bites and scratches and a LOT of dirty, foul smelling clothes to clean. Why? Well this is what HALO doesn’t tell you…
Reward. No, not recognition in the form of plaques or platitudes but the reward of seeing that YOU are changing lives for the better. Knowing that a dog was adopted to an amazing and loving home simply because you took the time to bring them to an event or a cat found her favorite human because you relentlessly posted videos and photos to social media until that special person adopted her. And for those beautiful souls that foster, the amazing (and bittersweet) pride and love in seeing your foster baby go Home. There is no greater reward than knowing that you made a difference in the life of an animal that doesn’t have a voice of its own.
Family. There is nothing more beautiful than when a group of like-minded people come together to accomplish a goal. At HALO, the volunteers and staff share many differences in religion, politics, race and creed but none of those differences ever diminish the shared passion and enthusiasm we all have for no-kill animal rescue because we all have the same goal, to SAVE THEM ALL. Some might say that those differences are what make HALO such an amazing organization. (Who says Democrats and Republicans can’t work together?) What you don’t realize is that through all of the events, meetings, emails and especially the shared joy (and grief), you establish relationships and connections that will last a lifetime. You become family. And as we all know, blood is thicker than water.
By the way, did I say unsung? That word doesn’t exist in Jacque’s vocabulary. She makes all volunteers and staff (no matter how large or small their contributions) feel like they are wanted, needed and most of all, appreciated. Anyone who knows Jacque, knows that her heart doesn’t just beat for the lives she saves (over 11,000 now…just sayin’) but also for the people who strive everyday to help make her dream of a no-kill world a reality.
Your tribe determines your vibe. I know I speak for many of my fellow HALO volunteers when I say we have the best tribe around. Want to become a member of the HALO tribe? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 772.589.7297.