Meet Two of Our Unsung Heroes

VOKRA is an organization solely run by volunteers and without their endless hard work and dedication we would not be able to help the more than 1800 cats and kittens we do each year.

We’d like to introduce you to two volunteers who others at VOKRA have described as “unsung heroes”. Both Margaret and Tasha volunteer in our Operations Centre and here’s a quick Q & A so you can get to know more about them and what they do.

Margaret

Q. How did you get involved with VOKRA?

A. I had heard about VOKRA several years ago, having met people who were VOKRA volunteers. When I retired in 2013 I finally had time to volunteer myself.

Q. How long have you been volunteering with VOKRA?

A. I started as a driver in the Fall of 2013 and then, in March 2014, I signed on to do two cat care shifts each week when the new Operations Centre opened. Most recently, in December 2014, cat care was looking for someone to take on training new volunteers and I was very happy to be accepted for this role. So now, I do one cat care shift each week and train all the new care volunteers.

Q. What is your favourite thing about volunteering for VOKRA?

A. I really enjoy helping to care for the cats while they are at the Operations Centre and getting to know all the great people who work there. And I get a great deal of personal satisfaction knowing that I’m contributing to these animals being safe and on the way to a loving home.

Q. In your spare time what do you do to unwind?

A. As for me, retirement finds me with time to spend on several activities. I go to fitness classes, play golf (but not very well), take lessons in Scottish country dancing and read as much as I want to.

Tasha

Q. How did you get involved with VOKRA?

A. I saw an interview on TV with VOKRA co-founder Karen and was immediately impressed with VOKRA and the idea of Trap-Neuter/Spay-Release (TNR). Just over a year ago I was ready to adopt a cat and brought home the most wonderful cat, Leroy (formerly named Tattoo) who was trapped as a kitten and had been in the Southlands barn for years and then fostered for a while before coming to me.

Last summer I put in an application to volunteer. I live in Richmond (but work downtown) so I thought the Operations Centre might be too far for a regular commitment so I was waiting for the right position to open up. Well, in September I saw a desperate plea for people to help bottle feed young kittens so I came in three days in a row to help. I was hooked. I signed up for a regular shift at reception the next week!

Q. Describe your volunteer role with VOKRA?

A. I started with one reception shift which grew to two very quickly. After attending a couple meetings and I was asked if I would like to take on scheduling for the cat care team and be a partner to Margaret as Cat Care Team Leads. Of course I said yes! Around that same time I was also asked to manage the ads that go up on the PetFinder website so I now do all these things. Although I’ve had to put in my notice for the second reception shift as I work full-time so I have to find some balance!

Q. What is your favourite thing about volunteering for VOKRA?

A. My absolute favourite thing is the happy endings. I love hearing about a trapped cat whose owner was desperately searching for it, or how a kitten like Pixie, who had a rectal prolapse and endured months of treatment while still remaining basically the sweetest and most gentle kitty, eventually found a happy home with her kitty bud. The stories never get old and I’m such a cry baby about it all. I really should carry Kleenex with me! I recently saw an updated picture of the kitten that I bottle fed on my first visit to the Operations Centre and my heart just melted into a pile of goo.

Q. In your spare time what do you do to unwind?

A. I love to read, try out new vegetarian recipes, walk the seawall which is right by my office, go to the movies and snuggle with my boy Leroy.

Thank you to Margaret and Tasha for all your hard work and dedication! And thank you to the hundreds of other volunteers who give their time to VOKRA each year. If you’re interested in volunteering please visit our website at orphankittenrescue.com/volunteer.

Post written by Phoenix L.

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