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.

 

 

You can help save a kitten this holiday season

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This is Cauliflower and she’s the proud mama of five kittens.

She was found upset and crying in the street not far from our Operations Centre. We’re not quite sure how she came to be on her own, but a neighbour told us this isn’t her first litter.

Unfortunately Cauliflower’s story is not uncommon. This year alone, more than 130 moms gave birth to more than 545 kittens while in our care. That’s a lot of kittens! And it doesn’t even take into account the little ones who’ve arrived without a mom.

The reality is only 25% of kittens who don’t receive human care survive. As a volunteer-driven non-profit, we wouldn’t be able to help all these moms and kittens without the support of people like you.

Kittens in our care have a chance at a happy, safe and healthy life. Once they’re old enough, Kale, Parsnip, Courgette, Broccoli and Cabbage will all be spayed/neutered and adopted into loving forever homes. And, like all the moms, Cauliflower will be spayed so she’ll never have to worry about getting pregnant again and she too will have her own forever home.

Your support today will help us pay for the cost of spaying/neutering, as well as for the food, litter and extra veterinary care all these moms and babies need.

Will you help us today?

This holiday season, please DONATE to help save families like Cauliflower’s.

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Parsnip, Kale, Cabbage, Courgette and Broccoli

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Brussel Sprout

And meet little Brussel Sprout, an honorary member of the veggie patch. He and his sister were found freezing cold in a shoebox when they were just a couple of days old. Despite our best efforts, we lost his sister and he was left alone in the world. But luckily for him, he went to live with foster mom Tania where he was bottle fed and received round-the-clock care. It just so happens Tania’s also fostering Cauliflower and her kittens. Cauliflower took one look at him and decided he needed to come join the veggie patch and that’s how he became Brussel Sprout!

P.S. – By becoming a monthly donor you can show your support for VOKRA all year long. Just $10 pays for one kitten to be vaccinated each month.

Wanted: Adoption Counsellors

momoWho wants to help our kitties find their forever homes?!

We’re looking to grow our team of adoption counsellors and are looking for cat lovers like you. Our adoption counsellors review new adoption applications, interview applicants and, ultimately, match up kitties with adopters. Yah!

Adoption counsellors can take on as many or as few applications as they choose. However, to keep up to date and involved in the adoptions process, it’s ideal for counsellors to have at least 6 hours of volunteer time available per week. Although it may only take a few moments to assist an applicant with their application, it’s important members of the adoptions team respond to emails readily and on a daily basis. All VOKRA volunteers are asked to commit at least 6 months of their time.

Adoption counsellors tasks include:

  • Receiving and reviewing new adoption applications
  • Contacting applicants, scheduling interviews and follow-up
  • Matching kitties and/or suggesting kitties for applicants
  • Liase with fosters to learn more about kitties personalities, pairings, etc..
  • Working with approved applicants to schedule viewing with kitties
  • Follow-up with applicants after viewings
  • Forward adopters to the papers team for processing/payment completion
  • Respond to adopters queries post adoption
  • Update database at each step to reflect status of adoption applications

Members of the adoptions team work closely together to manage the volume of applicants that apply to adopt through VOKRA. If you’re looking to join a fantastic group of people and help kitties find loving forever home then the adoptions team is for you!

To apply to become an adoption counsellor click here.

Questions? Email volunteervokra@gmail.com

The Great Grocery Stock Up is back!

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Right now when you stock up on grocery cards from Safeway and Save-on-Foods VOKRA gets 8% of the profits. 

That can really add up fast! Last year with the help of our fosters and volunteers we raised $2,500 which we used to buy things like cat food, litter and flea medicine.

We need to bulk buy the gift cards in order to get this special 8% return and that’s where you come in. We need you to order your Safeway or Save-on-Foods cards by October 30.

  • Cards are available in $25, $50 and $100 for both grocery outlets and you can also get Safeway cards for $250. You get the full value of the card and we get 8% back from the retailer.
  • Order now – but you don’t need to pay until October 31 (We’ll even take a post-dated cheque for November 1!)
  • The cards will be delivered in late mid-November in time for the holiday season.

This is a limited time offer so be sure to place your order by October 30 by emailing vokragiftcards@gmail.com and let the gift card team know what you’d like. They’ll confirm your order and contact you to arrange payment and delivery.

You can help us reach our goal of $35,000 in sales. That’s a profit of $2,800 for VOKRA kitties!

Safeway gift cards can be used at Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thriftyfoods, Lawtons & Needs.

Save-On-Foods cards can be used at PriceSmart, Overwaitea and Cooper’s Foods.

2016 Board of Directors Election

VOKRA will be holding its 2016 Annual General Meeting on October 13 at the Hastings Community Centre. Anyone can attend our AGM, however in order to vote you need to become a society member. Membership is only $10 and is a great way to show your support for VOKRA.

2016 VOKRA AGM
Thursday, October 13
7 to 8 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)
Hastings Community Centre, Room 9, 3096 E Hastings St., Vancouver
RSVP & BECOME A SOCIETY MEMBER

At the AGM we will be electing a new board of directors. Board membership is a leadership position within VOKRA that guides the organization to achieve its mission. The 12 Directors act in a position of trust for the community and are responsible for the effective governance of our organization.

Current board members seeking re-election:

headshot_coTasha Bukovnik

Tasha’s been volunteering with VOKRA since 2014 and was asked to fill a board vacancy in August 2016. She’s a public relations professional and co-leads VOKRA’s integrated communications and marketing team along with Majid Khoury. As co-lead, Tasha oversees all of VOKRA’s social media activities, coordinates the quarterly Mewsletter, manages the blog, coordinates the development of marketing materials, helps promote events, handles media relations and generally supports other VOKRA teams with whatever they need. Tasha also sits on the fundraising committee and her main focus is to manage VOKRA’s direct fundraising initiatives and appeals. When not volunteering, Tasha loves hanging out on the couch reading or knitting with her CH cat Bran and she’s also in the middle of yoga teacher training.

ShelleyShelley Dowson

After volunteering for more than seven years, Shelley has pretty much done every job imaginable, including cat care, foster coordinator, adoptions interviewer, adoption contracts, driving and transporting cats to the vet, to her current role of overseeing VOKRA’s Operations Centre. Being organized and thrifty are just some of the traits that led Shelley to not only work tirelessly setting up the Operations Centre, but be the brains behind some of VOKRA’s successful past events, such as the Pride Parade and VOKRA’s first Christmas Craft Fair. Running the daily care at the Ops Centre has shown Shelley how rewarding her work is and, after working her 12 hour a day job, she can be found working nights or weekends on whatever needs to be done at VOKRA. She’s also a foster parent for the more difficult older kitties. Shelley’s VOKRA cats, Chookah and Ubu, always keep her on her toes and have become her greatest pals. When this former Saskatchewan girl isn’t at home with them, she can be found searching the thrift stores for the best deals, usually finding something VOKRA could use.

Karen smilingKaren Duncan

Karen, along with Maria Soroski, founded VOKRA in 1999 with a mission: specializing in homeopathic care for kittens that needed around the clock treatment. With the assistance and training from Arbutus West Animal Clinic, Karen was able to make her dream a reality. Over the years, Karen has seen VOKRA expand and grow with a team of volunteers and she could not be more thrilled to have the Operations Centre which has enough space to allow for storage and room for volunteers. While Karen devotes her time to caring for VOKRA’s many charges, she always finds time to show her own cats love.

LucyLucy Hough

Lucy was inspired to become involved with VOKRA during our annual Walk for the Kitties event and has been on the board for the past two years. Lucy recently stepped down from the adoptions team where she was the link between many cats and their foster parents and also helped cats and kittens make the transition to their forever homes. Along the way, Lucy has also responded to emergencies, new foster parents and everything in between. This SFU graduate is also proud to be a director for an organization that is no-kill, one of VOKRA’s main principles. With her years with VOKRA, Lucy has carefully screened hundreds of adopters and follows strict qualifications on who will help our cats thrive and flourish in their forever homes. As a mom to four rescue cats herself, Lucy knows the importance of proper and through screening. When she’s not spending time with her cats, Lucy can be found soaking up the Vancouver sun in her garden, enjoying a run or relaxing with yoga.

cheryl_rogers_headshot (2)Cheryl Rogers

As a CPA and our current treasurer, Cheryl is certainly a business-savvy volunteer. Cheryl, a graduate of SFU, keeps all fiscal matters and policies running smoothly. Her business skills melt perfectly with her passion for helping to reduce the population of homeless cats; which is what inspired her to begin volunteering with VOKRA. She loves being a part of a charity that works to prevent the overpopulation of cats, but it’s the supportive and lasting care that she’s most proud of. Cheryl has a jam packed schedule of working and volunteering, yet she and her six cats manage to find time on weekends to relax and read.

photo(73)Maria Soroski

Maria co-founded VOKRA with Karen Duncan in 1999, after years of volunteering with cats and kittens. While volunteering, Maria saw a desperate need to develop a holistic approach to cat and kitten care, as well as a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) program in order to keep the feral and homeless cat population down. After VOKRA’s inception, Maria’s dream started coming true. Local shelters were seeing a dramatic drop in feral cat and kitten numbers in Vancouver – something Maria is proud to have helped with. She paved the way with VOKRA’s founding values and continues to ensure that as a no-kill organization, the TNR program is one of the best in BC. With a passion for giving homeless and feral cats a happy and healthy life, Maria always ensures VOKRA uses organic and nutritious food for all cats. With VOKRA keeping her busy, the former prairie gal loves to reward herself with time spent at home relaxing with her cats.

New candidates seeking election:

karen-k-2Karen Kohfeld

I have been a foster and participated in VOKRA events for about six years. In addition to being a foster, I’ve encouraged my daughter’s participation in small ways (fundraising through a lemonade stand.), helped to set up an outreach activity at my daughter’s school and done little things at Ops when I could. For a year, I served on the VOKRA Medical Research Board, which helped to put together protocols and procedures for how fosters and volunteers should deal with various illnesses and vaccinations.  I made some contributions through researching food ingredients and by beginning to establish a protocol for reporting of vaccine reactions.  Through these experiences I have gained some understanding of the operations.  Volunteer organizations are run on the backs of volunteers and I like to contribute time and energy to what needs to be done while helping to keep the positive spirit that motivates other volunteers to do what they can do, too. My background is in science and research and I’m used to thinking systematically about problems and operations.  If asked to serve on the VOKRA Board, I would come to the organization with an open mind, a desire to listen to all voices and an interest in making informed decisions that balance new knowledge with the vast experience of people who have been working with VOKRA cats for years.  Ultimately, I want to help to keep VOKRA the strong and effective organization that it already is.

susan

Susan Pare

I have a passion for all animals and a particular love for cats. I believe in VOKRA’s guiding beliefs and principles. I have also worked as a volunteer with VOKRA in the Cat Care Division since April 2015. My background allows me to bring many skills and experience to VOKRA’s board. I’m an enthusiastic, positive and passionate professional with more than 20 years of experience in sales as sales representative, manager, coach and trainer. I have a proven track record for achieving results through developing and coaching people, as well as providing excellent customer service. Some of my accomplishments include:

  • Successfully managed a team of 30 sales representatives, which lead to double-digit growth for seven consecutive years.
  • Developed and managed a sales team of five people with the objective of becoming one of the top 10 most recognized wineries in the world.
  • Sat at executive level weekly meetings to help roll out annual strategic plans.
  • Coached and mentored sales representatives over a period of five years, which resulted in increased productivity and efficiency within the sales division.
  • Designed and introduced three sales training manuals, which successfully became part of the Company’s orientation and training program.

helenHelen Savkovic

I’ve been involved with animal rescue since 2005 when I went down to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. While there I helped with the food and water stations, as well as animal care.  That experience changed my life.

When I returned home I became involved with a local rescue where I climbed a steep learning curve. I worked on the campaign to ban the sale of puppies in Richmond pet stores and I organized our entry in the Pepsi Challenge where we won $25,000. I remained with that group until the founder retired.

I strongly believe in the cause of animal welfare and the no-kill philosophy. I’m always eager to learn from the experts, attending conferences and lectures whenever possible, as well as visiting other animal welfare organizations locally and out-of-town. I’m very impressed with the work VOKRA does and would be honoured to serve on the board of directors.

caitlinCaitlin Spelliscy

VOKRA is an organization I have always wanted to become involved with. I love cats and VOKRA does such good work to help the cats in our community. Without VOKRA there would be many more homeless cats than there currently are and many of the cats that are rescued would not survive in a shelter setting.

In my professional life, I’m a Human Resources Manager at a company with approximately 400 employees. My career in human resources has given me experience in creating policies, implementing programs, drafting procedures and the necessary knowledge of employment laws and standards. In addition to my role as Human Resources Manager, I’m a member of the senior leadership team and this means I work closely with executives and other senior managers to ensure the operations are running smoothly and employees are happy. As VOKRA grows and may hire paid employees, my human resources knowledge would be an asset to ensure VOKRA meets and abides by all employment laws and standards.

I want to be involved in making a difference in such a reputable organization and if I were elected to the board, I feel my background, knowledge and experience would add value to VOKRA’s board and operations. My love of cats and other animals is what drives me to want to make a difference in their lives!

Nominations from the floor will also be accepted at the AGM.

2016 AGM set for October 13

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VOKRA will be holding its 2016 Annual General Meeting on October 13 at the Hastings Community Centre. Anyone can attend our AGM, however in order to vote you need to become a society member. Membership is only $10 and is a great way to show your support for VOKRA.

2016 VOKRA AGM
Thursday, October 13
7 to 8 p.m. (doors open at 6:15 p.m.)
Hastings Community Centre, Room 9, 3096 E Hastings St., Vancouver
RSVP & BECOME A SOCIETY MEMBER

At the AGM we will be electing a new board of directors to serve an annual term until 2017. Board membership is a leadership position within VOKRA that guides the organization to achieve its mission. Directors act in a position of trust for the community and are responsible for the effective governance of our organization.

We’re looking for board members with a desire to dedicate time to the development of VOKRA, and we could especially use people with financial and fundraising skills. Here’s what it takes to be a board member:

  • MEMBERSHIP IN THE VOKRA SOCIETY! You must be a member to be a board member
  • Commitment to the work of the organization
  • Knowledge and skills in one or more areas of board governance: policy, finance, programs, personnel, fundraising and advocacy
  • Willingness to serve on committees and attend committee meetings
  • Attendance at monthly board meetings + preparation time to review materials
  • Attendance at meetings of assigned committees
  • Attendance at Annual General Meetings
  • Support of special events
  • Support of and participation in fundraising events

We are currently actively recruiting for the following board positions:

President – Provides leadership to the board; makes sure the board adheres to its bylaws and constitution; prepares the agenda for board meetings; chairs meetings of the board; keeps the board’s discussion on topic by summarizing issues; keeps the board’s activities focused on the organization’s mission; orients board members to the board; serves as ex officio member of committees and attends their meetings when possible; promotes the organization’s purpose in the community and to the media; prepares a report for the Annual General Meeting; and orients the new board chair. The president is required to attend monthly VOKRA board meetings, including preparation time to review materials, and attendance at board committee meetings on an ad-hoc basis.

Directors at Large (4) – A director is fully informed on organizational matters and participates in the board’s deliberations and decisions in matters of policy, finance, programs, personnel and advocacy. They also review the bylaws and policy manual and recommend bylaw changes to the membership; participate in the development of VOKRA’s organizational plan and annual review; and assist in developing and maintaining positive relations among the board, committees, operations management team, volunteers and community to enhance VOKRA’s mission. Directors at large are required to attend monthly VOKRA board meeting, including preparation time to review materials.

If you’ve got what it takes and want to learn more email communications@vokra.ca

Why we Walk for the Kitties

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BeamerThis adorable guy is Beamer and he’s blind. He was born on a farm and most certainly wouldn’t have survived on his own.

The reality is only 25% of kittens survive without human care and, being blind, little Beamer wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Today Beamer’s in a loving foster home where he’s getting all the care and attention he deserves. He’s visited an eye specialist and his health is constantly being monitored.

Beamer is one of the thousands of reason why we Walk for the Kitties.

Each year, VOKRA rescues more than 1,800 homeless cats in the Lower Mainland. Unlike many other animal rescue groups, VOKRA is a volunteer-driven, no-kill organization. Our work is made possible through the generous support of volunteers, adopters and people like you. Walk for the Kitties is our largest fundraising event of the year and we rely on the funds raised to pay for the expensive care kitties like Beamer need. Learn more here.

Beamer2Please help us help kitties like Beamer this September 18 by joining us for our 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties. 

Eventbrite - VOKRA's 7th Annual Walk for the Kitties

Be sure to register before the early bird deadline of September 13! After that the registration fee will increase to $40.

Can’t make it on September 18? You can still donate today!