In the last week or so, we were incredibly lucky to have worked with Rebecca Charles and Zachary Goodman. They volunteered to deliver food to some of our clients. It was a big delivery, with multiple stops spread throughout the Los Angeles area, but they took to the task enthusiastically and did a great job. We always want to check in with our volunteers to see how their experience went. You can hear Zach's thoughts above, and Rebecca offered us this testimonial:
Hi, my name is Rebecca Charles, and I am a volunteer with PAWS LA.
I found PAWS LA via a professor at UCLA, who recommended a few websites to find volunteer opportunities. Being someone that loves animals, when I saw that PAWS LA helped not only people, but their pets also, it made a lot of sense for me to reach out to them.
The process of signing up for an opportunity was incredibly easy. Once you contact PAWs, you provide a few details and choose a specific activity to help with. The organization provides so many options, from delivering pet food to senior citizens and veterans, to pet grooming, to fostering, and even helping with their social media. All the coordinators are very friendly and work with you to help find which volunteer opportunities fit best for you.
I figured I’d start with delivery so I could potentially meet some of those receiving the food and their pets. The food was previously packed by other volunteers, so we matched up which pets needed which food items, then loaded it into our vehicle with the help of the coordinators. After that we contacted the clients about when they would like the food delivered. The whole process was easy and fun. It was nice to get to meet the clients and even some of the pets. Seeing those in need’s appreciation for such a small act of kindness was amazing. One client even left me a very nice voicemail thanking me for the delivery.
Volunteering made me realize that many people, especially those with service animals, may struggle to get food for their pets as they are typically heavy and expensive. This really put into perspective how important an organization like PAWS LA is. The experience of volunteering was incredibly rewarding. It allowed me to connect with people from different backgrounds and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face. It was heartwarming to see the joy on the clients’ faces’ as they received their food, and the happiness of their pets as they played and interacted with me.
It was also an opportunity to learn new skills, such as communication and problem-solving, as each delivery presented unique challenges.
I can’t wait to keep volunteering with PAWS LA in the future!
Our blog is managed by Ryan Hilary with additional contributions from the PAWS/LA team. Are you a member of our community and have a great idea for a post (or maybe want to write one yourself?). Reach out to Rhilary@pawsla.org.