In Appreciation: Dakin's Volunteers

Volunteer Greeter Diana Fordham befriends a puppy

If Dakin had a not-so-secret superpower, it would have to be our volunteers!

Nearly 500 people donate their time and share their dedication to the animals, programs and services at Dakin through their hard work. Whether they’re providing animal care (in-shelter or in their own homes) or giving a hand to the pet food aid program, the spay-neuter team, or any of our services, Dakin volunteers make a difference every day.

National Volunteer Month is each April, and we are grateful for the contributions of our incredible volunteer force. “Every day our volunteer and foster team members work side by side with us,” noted Community Engagement Manager Kaitlyn Holloway, who also oversees the volunteer program. “They are involved in everything that we do. Volunteers bring a wealth of life experience with them. They bring different skills, different talents, and a whole lot of fun to the work.”

Among the many volunteers who keep Dakin going are greeters. Stationed in the main lobby, greeters assist members of the public who pass through our doors with finesse. They act like air traffic controllers when our lobby gets full; getting people assistance with adoption inquiries or pet surrenders, responding to emergency situations that sometimes present at our front doors, taking “going home” photos to show some of our happiest adoption moments online, or guiding visitors to the thrift shop, the Pet Health Center or other destinations.

Diana Fordham, a greeter for eight years, also trains new greeters. She stated, “I got to make recommendations, as it takes a certain skill set to be able to balance the responsibilities of the position. I have handled many different volunteer positions at Dakin, and being a greeter is my favorite by far!”

“Being a greeter is a very rewarding experience but there are situations that can be heart wrenching, especially when someone has to surrender a pet or say good bye for other reasons,” said Elaine Harrison, who has been a greeter for four months. “The Dakin staff do an outstanding job handling these situations, but as a greeter or volunteer in any capacity you have to understand your role is to be positive and offer compassionate support in every situation.”

According to Mary Roberts, who began volunteering as a greeter 10 years ago, “The position gives me the opportunity to meet new and old friends who love animals. It is gratifying to see a match happen, and the love that emanates from both sides; the adopter and the adopted animal. I don’t think anything compares to it in that respect. The people I work with are awesome and their love and dedication to the animals is readily apparent. It feels like a family.”

Although in April we celebrate National Volunteer Month, we want each and every volunteer to know that we appreciate you every single day for lending your support and time to the thousands of animals and people Dakin serves. “What is most incredible, is that volunteers do these extraordinary things simply out of the kindness of their hearts,” said Kaitlyn. “And, we are fortunate to have a whole lot of kind hearts at Dakin.”

Interested in joining this dynamic team? Click here to begin your volunteer journey!

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