This is a guest post by Leann, one of our volunteers.
You’re sitting at home enjoying the weekend and the Southern California sun. Even though it’s a great day, you feel like there’s something else you should be doing – something that you just can’t put your finger on. You have a good job, a great family and a happy life, but there is something missing. At that moment, your dog walks into the room and puts his paw on your leg… and it hits you. You want to get involved with a cause you’re passionate about – dog rescue.
I adopted my pup, Cooper (then Oreo), from Wags and Walks, a rescue that saved him from death row. I felt inspired to make a difference for other dogs just like Wags and Walks did for my own Cooper. So, I sent a note to Lesley Brog, the President and Founder of Wags and Walks – “How can I help?”. I didn’t know that this simple question would lead to a wonderful friendship and five years of volunteering, which has changed my life.
You may think that you can’t volunteer because you don’t have time, you live too far from the rescue, or you don’t have any experience. But if there’s a will, there’s a way. There are so many different ways you can get involved: volunteering, fostering, working adoption events, transporting dogs, helping with special events and supporting social media, just to name a few.
Once you make the decision to volunteer, an easy way to double your impact is by checking if your company participates in an employee matching gift program or a volunteer grant program. My company, Amgen, has a program that supports staff volunteer efforts by providing service grants. Essentially, hours volunteered qualify for service grants of up to $2,000 per year per employee, which go directly to the nonprofit. Additionally, the foundation matches every dollar donated by an Amgen staff member up to a cumulative total of $20,000 annually. You can easily find your if your employer participates here.
There are so many ways you can help – all you need to do is take that first step, just like I did five years ago. I promise you won’t regret it. There is no greater feeling than helping others, whether it be humans or animals. Helping Wags and Walks find forever homes for these deserving dogs is so rewarding and has helped me fill that missing piece in my life.
If you are interested in volunteering at Wags and Walks, visit the website to learn more and fill out an application.
Wags and Walks Volunteer