Amanda is passionate about animal rescue. She combined her love for cats with her skills in social media, and carved out her ideal volunteer opportunity. This is Amanda’s giving story.
Monday-Friday, 9-5, I’m a social media consultant at Apex Public Relations. On the weekends, I’m a volunteer cat cuddler at Toronto Animal Services (TAS). For over two years, I’ve been helping to socialize the cats to prepare them for adoption by petting them, playing with them, and grooming them. The shelter environment can be stressful, and this human interaction helps relax some of the more high-strung cats. Plus, they get exercise!
I was inspired to apply for a volunteer position at Toronto Animal Services because I’ve always been a strong advocate for shelter adoption over purchasing a pet from a store or breeder. There is no need to breed more animals when shelters are already full of awesome adoptables waiting for their forever homes! By spending time with the shelter animals and learning about their unique personalities, I hope to educate others on the advantages of choosing a rescue as their new family member. No matter what personality, age, breed, size, or colour pet you are looking for, there is a match out there for you.
Besides devoting hours to cuddling cute animals (hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it), I run a few social media accounts (like Twitter and Instagram) to help promote TAS’s adoptable animals and events. There are some other volunteer-run blogs and social channels, and it’s pretty cool how everyone pitches in.
Recently, I did something I feel very fortunate to be able to do: I took a “volunteer day” off from work. Our president Linda Andross explained to me why our company gives employees this awesome opportunity:
“I volunteer, and that’s an important part of my life, and I want to support and nurture it in the staff here at APEX. It’s a win-win’ for the company because we have happy, community-focused colleagues, and they get a chance to step out of their work day and participate in something that otherwise they might not be able to.”
Volunteer Day is just one of the great ideas our president has about volunteering. I think (and I’m sure Linda would agree) that all companies should offer a volunteer day.
Volunteerism has enriched my life in many ways; it makes me feel more connected to the city I live in and the people who live there, and it makes me a well-rounded person with a life and interests outside of my paid job.
Toronto Animal Services recently partnered with Toronto Cat Rescue to help cats that are ill, need extra care, or don’t do well in a shelter environment. By treating these cats and readying them for adoption, this partnership gives these vulnerable cats a better chance at being adopted into a permanent home. Learn more about The Toronto Cat Rescue on their charity profile page.