Volunteer of the Month – March 2017

We’ve zipped through the first two months of 2017 with great success in saving kitties, and we only plan to rescue more this month, but not without first thanking our Volunteer of the Month, Nina Maravic!

Nina began her role at VOKRA nearly two years ago, shortly after she adopted her two cats. In her first year, she took on the role of a volunteer recruitment coordinator. She wanted to become even more involved with the organization and so began her transition into planning events.

As an event planner at VOKRA, Nina works hard to make sure the events we participate in run smoothly. The first event Nina planned was the online Christmas Craft Fair in 2015 and included items from creative volunteers and local shops. Nina also organizes information booths at pet food stores, community events and pet conventions. Some large-scale events include the Pride Festival and Canada Day, which are great opportunities to raise awareness for VOKRA and kitties in need. In addition, Nina manages school visits where kittens are brought into classrooms and students learn about cat welfare and VOKRA.

“My favourite part of volunteering is planning outreach events that positively impact the community,” said Nina. “I recently worked with SFU on their first Kitten Therapy initiative (ours as well!), which got a lot of media attention and positive feedback from the students. I also love the teamwork that goes into all aspects of volunteering with VOKRA, whether it be the planning, trapping, fostering or any other job. It’s amazing that such a large group of individuals can come together for a common goal.”

We really appreciate Nina’s hard work and dedication to VOKRA

“Nina is an exceptionally hard worker and very curious about all the different volunteer areas within VOKRA,” says fellow volunteer Valerie. “She stepped in and did a wonderful job with the recruitment team before she moved onto the volunteer committee and off to join the fundraising committee. Her skills in setting up events, including all the preparation and organization required, is exceptional. She has introduced a team to handle school presentations which is very popular and a wonderful tool to educate younger people. She’s a very busy volunteer with fresh and new ideas and is a great asset to the VOKRA team!”

Once again, Nina plays such an important role within our organization and we wouldn’t know what to do without her. Thank you, Nina!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

Volunteer of the Month – February 2017

peggy-sullivanIt’s the month of love and we have all the love to give for our volunteers. This February, we’re giving our biggest thanks to Volunteer of the Month Peggy Sullivan!

Peggy joined the VOKRA team seven years ago when her friend invited her to volunteer. As a busy individual, she always told herself she would work with animals in some way when she found time. As the adoptions team lead, Peggy’s in charge of training adoption counsellors and ensuring VOKRA’s kitties are going to the best forever homes available. She oversees the processes of matching kitties to applicants and making sure the adoptions team works together to make both the kitty and the adopter happy.

“I work with amazing people at the VOKRA family and have never worked with such a dedicated, unselfish group of people before,” says Peggy. “I have a team of ten members who I’m so proud of. They work tirelessly, they are excellent team players and they’re incredibly dedicated to the cause. We adopted out about 1,400 cats and kittens last year and we’re working harder to beat that number this year.”

The best part of being the adoptions team lead for Peggy is to see how each and every adopter is so committed to the kitties and that the team gets to find furever homes for the kitties that come into VOKRA’s care.

We truly appreciate all the work Peggy puts into this organization because, without her dedication and hard work, the process of adoptions wouldn’t run like clockwork! We thank you Peggy for all the time and effort you put in to make the lives of VOKRA kitties better, one at a time. You’re the best!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

Volunteer of the Month – January 2017

dsc00625It’s a new year! What does that mean for us at VOKRA? It means a whole new year dedicated to saving and improving the lives of kitties. However, that’s not possible without the help of our lovely volunteers who pour their hearts and souls into their roles. To kick of 2017 we’d like to give a special shout out to our first Volunteer of the Month for the year, Joyce Grassi!

If you’ve ever visited VOKRA’s website to adopt a kitty or two, learn about our organization or seek volunteer opportunities, you’ve come across our galleries of cats and kittens. Joyce joined VOKRA as a photography coordinator in September 2015. This role not only fueled her love for cats, but also her passion for photography. As the photography coordinator, Joyce is the link between our volunteer photographers and fosters who need a photo session done for the kitties in their care. Once the adorable photos are captured, it’s Joyce’s job to upload them to the website. Additionally, she coordinates with fosters when she notices cats need updated photos. Joyce has seen great success in getting kitties adopted quickly after new and improved photos have been uploaded to our site. She enjoys letting the photographer know when there has been a successful adoption – warm fuzzies all around!

One of Joyce’s favourite moments so far has been meeting the kitties who star in VOKRA’s current Facebook banner photos:

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Here is Joyce with Suzie-Q behind the scenes of the banner shoot:

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Joyce enjoys volunteering with VOKRA as it brings satisfaction to hear applicants are interested in a specific cat as a result of seeing their awesome portraits. As a frequent traveler, being a photography coordinator works well for Joyce as she always has her laptop and files with her, giving her access to coordinate photo sessions whenever and wherever.

Without Joyce, our website and social media channels would seriously be lacking a great number of photos.  We’re grateful we have an incredibly dedicated coordinator on our team to make sure aesthetically our kitties are looking sharp in our galleries. Thank you Joyce for playing a crucial role in helping our kitties find their forever homes and family. You’re sincerely the best!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

Wanted: Volunteer Recruitment Coordinators

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As a volunteer-driven organization, VOKRA’s success depends on our ability to recruit new volunteers. We’r looking for Volunteer Recruitment Coordinators to assist with attracting and matching volunteers with suitable positions. As this important role is the face of VOKRA for potential volunteers, a positive and encouraging attitude is essential. If you have experience or an interest in recruitment or human resources, we’re looking for you!

Responsibilities:

  • Review and process volunteer applications
  • Conduct phone interviews
  • Respond to email and phone inquiries
  • Liase with department leads to fill vacancies and coordinate interview and orientations
  • Make recommendations for volunteer positions suitable for the applicant
  • Collaborate with other recruitment coordinators
  • Use creativity to increase awareness in the community about volunteering opportunities with VOKRA

Skills:

  • Education or experience in human resources is an asset
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, as well as collaborate with others
  • Efective written and verbal communications skills

Requirements:

  • We ask for a commitment of 3 – 5 hours per week (based around your schedule) for a minimum of six months
  • Volunteers must have access to a personal computer, internet and phone as this position is based almost entirely from home.

To apply please complete the volunteer application form here and then email Raj at volunteervokra@gmail.com to let him know you’ve completed the application.

 

 

Volunteer of the Month – December 2016

mona2It’s December – time for Christmas shopping, holiday cheer and a new Volunteer of the Month, Mona Boucher!

Mona’s been volunteering at VOKRA for approximately eight years, beginning by trapping a mom, dad and two teenage kittens in her neighbourhood. At VOKRA, Mona plays an integral role in several positions. She’s a trapper, feral tamer, colony caretaker, barn cat placer and a driver – she excels at all of them! Her favourite role is trapping as she loves being on the front lines and having first contact with cats and kittens in need. There’s no better feeling for her than when a trap closes and knowing that cat’s life is about to change forever.

“I have hundreds of stories of cats and kittens who’ve been rescued,” reflects Mona. “The most notable is probably miaowing to catch the tiny kittens at a fish food plant. You may already have even see the video!

mona“My fellow trappers and I drive thousands of kilometres, have climbed on roofs, crawled under buildings, saved cats in car engines and in boats, we’ve climbed haystacks and trapped in forests,” adds Mona. “Each situation is different and we’ll do almost anything to rescue cats. It’s exhilarating, all consuming, rewarding and very addictive.”

As an outstanding VOKRA volunteer, Mona inspires all of us to work harder and give all we have to helping cats in need. She’s an amazing individual to work alongside and we thank Mona for all the time she’s dedicated to saving cats and kittens from all over the province. She truly deserves to be December’s Volunteer of the Month, if not the entire year!

Below is a message from Mona about our organization and volunteers and we really cannot say it any better!

“We’re not changing the world, but we are changing the world for that one cat. As a trapper we have first contact, but we’re only one pair of hands in a long chain of loving hands carrying cats to their forever homes. Everyone can do something to help and each and every role is equally as valuable and important. It takes a village to rescue homeless cats.”

We give one last massive thank you to Mona, for truly being an incredible helping hand in making sure VOKRA is a success and all the cats and kittens get to their forever homes. You’re the best Mona!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.

The Rewards of Fostering

katrina_2This beautiful girl is Katrina and, thanks to her foster mom Carrie, she has a chance at a better life.

Katrina came to VOKRA as a stray kitty and when she arrived at Carrie’s home she had a bad cold and was very scared. In fact, she spent the first several weeks hissing and didn’t want to get out of her carrier.

“I felt bad for her,” said Carrie. “She was in the bathroom and I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t leave the carrier, especially since it was not comfortable at all and now smelling like pee! I had to eventually physically tip the carrier over so that she would leave it and go into the covered cat bed VOKRA had given me. At this point, I was wondering what I’d gotten myself into!”

Carrie is an experience foster who, to date, has taken care of more than 20 VOKRA kitties. They’ve always been calm, friendly cats so she wasn’t expecting Katrina to be so timid. Because she was so used to cats who let her drape them around her shoulders, having Katrina at times was very frustrating. There were days when she wanted to give up and send her back to VOKRA because she wasn’t acting like a “normal” cat. But Carrie’s patience was finally rewarded and she was left with a feeling of pure happiness when Katrina finally decided to trust her.

When asked what her secret weapon was, Carrie said, “Treats! So many treats. I would sometimes sit with her and try to get her to come out of her little cave that I had created for her in a box. She wouldn’t come out for the longest time. Eventually, she FINALLY came out, after tapping my fingers on the floor for God knows how long.”

katrina_1Today Katrina walks around the house like she owns it, running around all the time after treats and rolling over on her back when she wants you to pet her. There are still set backs – sometimes she nips a bit when being pet, she’s a bit skitterish and she hates being picked up – but she’s come a very long way.

“I’ve gotta say it was a challenge and at many times I thought of her as this troll in the bathroom,” said Carrie. “I would feed her and change the litter every day but not get to see or touch her. It’s such a relief now that she’s out and about, for my sanity and for hers! I hope she’ll find a really nice forever home where she can continue to thrive.”

Thank you Carrie for your patience and willingness to stick in there with Katrina! Thanks to you she’s now on the road finding her forever home where she’ll be safe, secure and loved. Although Katrina’s not quite ready for adoption yet, with Carrie’s continued care we anticipate she’ll be up on our website soon!

VORKA is always in need of fosters willing to work slowly with the scared cats in our care. Because we rescue so many kitties from the streets, we have many who need extra help and patience. So if you’re looking for a rewarding and satisfying way to give back, please consider fostering today. Learn more are www.vokra.ca/fostering.

Volunteer of the Month – November 2016

lizAfter a terribly rainy October, it’s finally a new month which means it’s also time to congratulate a new Volunteer of the Month – Liz Menning!

Liz first heard about VOKRA through the West Vancouver SPCA, then applied to be a foster in 2012. The current count for cared kitties in Liz’s home is 57! As much as Liz and her family enjoy fostering, it’s no longer feasible with four cats in their household – three of which are foster fails! Liz’s three kids are happily a part of VOKRA and even set up lemonade stands to raise hundreds of dollars to save the kitties. In the four years Liz has been volunteering with VOKRA, she’s taken on many tasks, including caring for kittens, creating the online foster handbook, helping out at adoption events and much more. Liz’s goal is to make sure all the kitties out there are brought in, cared for and, ultimately, loved.

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The three former fosters Liz adopted.

“My first official rescue was in April 2013,” says Liz. “There was a small tortie, Emma, in Horseshoe Bay living in the shed behind a fish and chips place. She was extremely thin when we brought her in, still wearing a ratty flea-collar and missing most of the fur on her lower half. She spent seven months in a foster home where she learned to be pampered; her coat grew in long and thick, so much so that she needed to be brushed daily. Emma was adopted in October 2013 into her forever home.”

As a volunteer, Liz has found a rewarding hobby in trapping and bringing in kitties to VOKRA. It doesn’t matter how feral or how busy the Ops Centre is, because VOKRA treats every incoming kitty with love and kindness. Liz calls it a “Kitty’s Lucky Day” to come to VOKRA. Some of Liz’s most memorable events with VOKRA include her first mass intake of 23 most sick kittens from Abbotsford and Walk for the Kitties.

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Liz busily helping to get out Operations Centre up and running.

She’s deeply inspired by Karen and Maria at VOKRA and their commitment to kitties – each and every one of them. Liz loves working alongside phenomenal volunteers and felt extremely proud seeing the large number of people who attended the VOKRA Volunteer BBQ this past summer.

We here at VOKRA feel the same way about Liz. She’s an extraordinary volunteer and has gone through great lengths to provide the best care possible for all the rescued kitties. Thank you Liz! We appreciate all your hard work and effort to help our organization be successful and, most importantly, to improve the lives of all kitties. Stay awesome!

Post written by Aurora C.

As a 100% volunteer-driven non-profit, we clearly couldn’t do what we do without our extremely dedicated and hard working team of volunteers. THANK YOU!

If you’re interested in volunteering with us visit our website at vokra.ca/volunteer.