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

Volunteer of the Month – August 2016


NatashaWe hope all our volunteers had an amazing time at our Volunteer Appreciation BBQ last month! Now we’re back to our regular Volunteer of the Month feature and for August we’d like to give all our thanks to Natasha Wodak!

Not only is Natasha a valued volunteer, she’s also a professional distance runner, athlete ambassador for Asics Canada and, come August 12, she’ll also be an Olympian when she steps on the track in Rio!

Running is no doubt one of Natasha’s top passions, but cuddling with kitties is definitely right up there. She started volunteering at VOKRA in October 2014 as a cat care volunteer coming in each Friday for a shift whenever she’s in town. She feeds the kitties, cleans litter boxes and cages, does dishes and laundry and, best of all, she cuddles all the kitties to help them socialize.

One of Natasha’s best moments volunteering was bottle-feeding a newborn kitten for the first time and it nearly brought tears to her eyes. Like all volunteers, Natasha has met a lot of cats that have a special place in her heart, but here she tell us the story of her first foster:

Natasha_0230 Natasha_0288

“Feeona was my foster kitty for a year and a half,” explains Natasha. “I met her last November when she was only eight months old after she was brought to the Operations Centre for the second time because she wasn’t using her litter box. She was the sweetest little thing and I fell in love with her instantly. I wasn’t looking to foster, but after three weeks of seeing her every Friday in a cage at Ops I had to take her home. In the time I had her she made loads of progress with using her box, but still, every few days she’d have an accident. Just about three weeks ago I had to give her to another foster. It was too hard for me to take care of her with all my travelling. My heart broke seeing her go, but I’m happy to hear she’s doing well and settled into a nice home on Gabriola Island.”

Natasha_3368

Feeona

The hardest part about volunteering at VOKRA for Natasha is seeing all of the neglected, abandoned and abused cats. However, the most rewarding part about volunteering is knowing what a difference all the volunteers make for these cats; more than a thousand kitties are saved each year! It makes Natasha extremely happy to know she’s helping all the helpless kitties in every way she can. She also loves taking photos of all the cats and kittens she works with, so check out her Instagram at @tasha_wodak if you want to melt from all the cuteness (and follow her Olympic experience)!

We want to thank Natasha for all her hard work and devotion to VOKRA, even with her busy schedule as a professional athlete. We also want to wish her the best of luck at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio. She’s one of the most kindhearted volunteers we know and she most definitely deserves an Olympic medal. So again, good luck Tasha in Rio – do it for the kitties!

Natasha_4531You can cheer on Nastasha as she competes in the Women’s 10,000m on August 12 at 7:10 a.m.!

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 – July 2016

volunteer collage

Our July Volunteer of the Month is all of our VOKRA volunteers! We want to thank each and everyone one of you for all your help and support at our Volunteer Appreciation Barbeque on July 24!

We welcome our current volunteers and their families to drop in anytime between 1 – 3 p.m. for a rooftop BBQ. We’ll have door prizes and tours of our Operations Centre. If you’re planning to come to the pawty please RSVP by July 17 by clicking here.

Like we like to say, volunteering is the joy of making a difference one purr at a time. Thank you all for all your dedication and support for VOKRA! We honestly couldn’t do it without you.

2015 AGM set for August 27

VokraMeeting_FB

VOKRA will be holding its 2015 Annual General Meeting on August 27, our second since we officially became a society last year. 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.

2015 VOKRA AGM
Thursday, August 27
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
VOKRA Operations Centre at 2028 Wall Street, Vancouver
RSVP & BECOME A SOCIETY MEMBER 

At the AGM we will be electing a new board of directors to serve an annual term until August 2016. 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
  • Attendance at membership meetings
  • Support of special events
  • Support of and participation in fundraising events

Board positions include:

President Emeritus – Provides VOKRA historical perspective to the board members; keeps the board’s activities focused on the organization’s mission and makes sure the board adheres to its bylaws and constitution. Required to attend monthly VOKRA Board meetings, including preparation time to review materials.

Chair – 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. Required to attend monthly VOKRA board meeting, including preparation time to review materials, and attendance at board committee meetings on an ad-hoc basis.

Vice Chair – Acts in the absence of the chairperson; works closely as consultant and advisor to the chairperson; and orients the new vice chair. Required to attend monthly VOKRA board meeting, including preparation time to review materials.

Secretary – Keeps copies of the organization’s bylaws and the board’s policy statements; keeps lists of officers, board members, committees and general membership; notifies board members of meetings; brings official minute book to meetings; keeps record of board attendance; makes sure that there is a quorum at board meetings; keeps accurate minutes of meetings; records all motions and decisions of meetings; keeps copies of minutes of both board and committee meetings; distributes copies of minutes to board members promptly after meetings; files the annual return, amendments to the bylaws and other incorporating documents; makes sure members are notified of general meetings; and in the absence of the chairperson and vice chairperson, chairs board meetings until the election of an alternate chairperson. Required to attend monthly VOKRA board meeting, including preparation time to review materials.

Treasurer – Gives regular reports to the Board on the financial state of the organization; keeps financial reports on file; undertakes special projects to reduce costs; chairs the finance committee; acts as signing officer, with another officer or executive director for cheques and other documents; and orients the new treasurer. Required to attend monthly VOKRA Board meeting, including preparation time to review materials and monthly finance committee meeting to prepare up to date financial statements.

Directors at Large – 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, OMT, volunteers and community to enhance VOKRA’s mission. Require 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

Cool the Kitties at the VOKRA Operations Centre

HELP VOKRA KEEP OUR KITTIES COOL!

Here at the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA), we think cats are the coolest thing going. We need your help to keep them that way!

Our recently expanded Operations Centre lacks air conditioning and, despite the heroic efforts of around-the-clock volunteers armed with ice packs, fans, portable air conditioners and sardine snow-cones, we have not been able to maintain a building temperature that will keep our kitties comfortable and healthy. Your donation today will help us install much-needed central air conditioning.

VOKRA takes in more than 1,800 abandoned and feral cats every year. Our Operations Center houses the most vulnerable cats in our care: cats waiting to be fostered, animals recovering from illness, moms-to-be and kittens. It’s very important they are free from physical and mental stressors, including temperature and humidity changes. Cats can only “sweat” through their paw pads and by panting so their small bodies are easily overwhelmed by heat. They’re just not as efficient at cooling off as humans are.

We’re part way to achieving our goal since a donor has kindly stepped forward and provided us with an industrial air conditioning unit. But unfortunately we lack the funds to install it. Your gift today would go a long way to helping us achieve our goal of cooling the kitties!

Donate Button

Dave – Taking Over the World, One Reception Desk at a Time

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 the Reception Overlord, a.k.a. Dave, who volunteers as part of the Reception team at our Operations Centre. Here’s a quick Q & A so you can get to know more about the day-to-day life of a Reception Overlord.

Dave Siklos

“Sometimes it gets so difficult maintaining the illusion that I’m just a good-natured, helpful shlub.”

Q. How did you hear about/get involved with VOKRA?

A. As an up-and-coming Evil Overlord, I realized that planning the doom of others just wasn’t the same without a cat to stroke. After some interrogations involving rubber bands, a trombone and Worcestershire sauce, I was told about VOKRA and the work they did. Sensing an opportunity to expand my dominion, I infiltrated the organization as a receptionist while fostering a series of cats, and swiftly rose to gain power as the Reception Overlord. Thus far my true, sinister nature has gone undetected.

Q. Describe your volunteer role with VOKRA?

A. As Reception Overlord I pester, intimidate and cajole the minions under my rule into performing their tasks efficiently and promptly. The Reception Team is responsible for a variety of tasks, ranging from taking inventory to printing forms, to greasing the gears of administration at VOKRA. I ensure that my people are always up-to-date on the latest procedures and that they greet visitors at our Operations Centre with a smile. Those that don’t smile are fed to my piranhas.

Q. How long have you been volunteering with VOKRA?

A. I first began “volunteering” at VOKRA in June 2014. I quickly gained the trust of others, and in December I staged a quiet coup and overthrew the ruler of the Reception Team claiming power for myself.

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

A. Knowing the cats I help VOKRA rescue are going to other potential Evil Overlords, to live their lives being waited on hand and foot by their masters’ henchmen- sorry, henchPEOPLE (women can hench just as well as men after all).

Q. What’s the most challenging part of your role with VOKRA?

A. Sometimes it gets so difficult maintaining the illusion that I’m just a good-natured, helpful shlub. I have to wait hours before I can return to my lair and cut loose with a properly diabolical cackle. Luckily the pods the cats are in muffle sound quite well, so I can duck into one and cuddle a cat while giving the occasional sinister chuckle to blow off steam.

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

A. Plot global domination, build elaborate death-traps for secret agents and listen to music. I’m on an Ella Fitzgerald kick right now, that woman had a VOICE.

Q. Do you volunteer with other organizations?

A. Who has the time? Between trying to find people to cover shifts for sick minions and plotting to take over the world, WHO HAS THE TIME?

Thank you to Dave 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.

As told to Phoenix L.

 

Compassionate Kids–Felix

We were recently lucky enough to have a visit from the one and only Felix at our Operations Centre! Felix, along with his brother Leo and his mom Jan came down for a tour and to make a very special donation. For his birthday this year, Felix decided he wanted cold hard cash instead of gifts. Now, before you think, “Hey, kid! That’s rude!”, you’ll want to hear why he collected coins instead of presents; so he could donate to VOKRA!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Felix and his family are no strangers to the work VOKRA does as they adopted two cats through us last year and have given them a wonderful home.

Felix and Leo at VOKRA Operations 007

And now, they are helping other kitties too. Kitties like Sudermann.

Our fantastic volunteer, Valerie, told Felix Sudermann’s story and about how lucky this cat is to be alive. She let him know that the money he donated will help with Sudermann’s vet bills so he can get better and find a great forever home, just like Felix’s cats now have.

We loved meeting Felix and appreciate his donation so much. And we think Felix was pretty happy with the visit too. He was so excited, he said that when he gets bigger, he wants to volunteer for VOKRA. We look very much forward to that, Felix. You’re already a great part of our team.

Thanks for supporting VOKRA, Felix, and for being a Compassionate Kid!