August’s Volunteer of the Month is someone who works behind the scenes, but whose work you’ve definitely seen! Kathy is one of our wonderful Volunteer Photographers who take pictures of the Rescue cats to use in their adoption profiles, our website, newsletter, and social media. You can imagine that with over 300 volunteer hours under her belt, she’s taken a lot of kitty photos!
It turns out that gorgeous cat photos are what prompted Kathy to begin volunteering at SAFe too. “I was first drawn to the beautiful photos that prior photographers had taken and would be posted on SAFe’s Facebook page. I would comment on their photos about how they had beautifully captured the cats. When I saw a post in a newsletter that SAFe was looking for new photography volunteers, I signed up!” She also says that she has enjoyed the camaraderie with the other photographers who volunteer at the Rescue and felt very supported by the training that she received from the other photographers who came before her.But that wasn’t her first experience with SAFe. “I adopted 2 kittens from SAFe in 2015, and I was impressed with the care taken to make the right match between cats and family.” she notes, “Martin and Kuro are still part of our family today.”
When asked about the most rewarding part of her role at SAFe, Kathy said, “It’s rewarding to give back to the community as a volunteer, knowing that your skills are valued and helping others, whether it’s people or animals.” And the most challenging part? “It’s challenging to photograph cats because sometimes they have an attitude!” she says, “And you can’t tell them to pose or hold still, or all the things that you might say to a human subject. The most challenging is when an enclosure has multiple kittens: trying to isolate one kitty without the other ones jumping out of the enclosure or photo-bombing.”
When she’s not helping homeless cats, Kathy works full-time in Operations at Regence BlueShield and is on the board of directors for Camp Fire Central Puget Sound. She is also a wife and mother. Her friends marvel at how she can balance, work, family, and two volunteering jobs, but Kathy still manages to find free time for hobbies. “I am an avid Jazzerciser, so you’ll find me dancing away 5 times a week,” she says. She’s been a traditional scrapbooker for many years and recently started learning how to do digital scrapbooking. Kathy also has a well-deserved vacation coming up in September where she will be cruising to Alaska with a friend.
When asked if she had advice for new volunteers or anyone thinking about volunteering, she remarks, “There are plenty of ways to volunteer so there is something for everyone.” And to “treat volunteering the same as a paid job, because people (and cats!) are counting on you. Volunteer jobs can turn into a career or school reference that will further your career, it will provide you with some good friends and a professional network.”
We are so grateful to have Kathy helping all of the Rescue kitties put their best face forward for adopters! Thank you, Kathy, for all of your hours of service, and enjoy that vacation!