With Valentine’s Day approaching, SAFe wants to spread the love and celebrate our February Volunteer of the Month: Heather!
As both a foster and a volunteer, Heather has worn many different hats at SAFe. She even helped create new roles for future volunteers, including serving as a greeter when SAFe re-opened after COVID-19 closures and helping with the new community veterinary clinics!
Heather explains, “Fostering is where I feel like the majority of my time is spent, but I also do an assortment of other things. I volunteer at the monthly Community Wellness Clinic, and I LOVE that SAFe has started doing this—it is such a valuable service and I hope to see more folks use it as word gets out. I have gotten to volunteer at SAFe’s booth at community events a few times and enjoy doing that when I can.” Heather has helped countless community members to find the information and resources they need with a positive and welcoming attitude, helping carry out the Rescue’s mission to assist cats and their people.
While she’s helping the community, Heather is also showing compassion to the Rescue kitties directly by crafting for the cats in SAFe’s care. Many furry alums have taken home their baby blanket and soft toys courtesy of Heather! “I started sewing a lot in March 2020 (seems like everyone learned a pandemic skill, this was mine) and enjoy making blankets and toys for the Rescue kitties, as well as curtains for the enclosures.” She explains, “It makes me happy to know that so many kitties have gone to their new homes with something snuggly that I made.”
The curtains Heather created hang on the enclosures of nervous cats to provide privacy while they adjust to their new surroundings. Many kitties need time to rest and relax before they’re ready to meet new people and volunteers like Heather have provided every kitty, fearful or brave, with a soft place to sleep and something to cuddle with just a bit of catnip in it!
While the work she does at SAFe comes in many forms, Heather says all of that work collectively serves her community and brings humans and cats together. “It is so rewarding to be able to have even a small part in helping someone meet their new best friend. I love, love, love getting updates from our former fosters’ families about how they are doing! We keep a “kittenstagram” account (@thesaltydogfosters) so that they can see what their kitties were up to before adoption, and also to connect with other fosters and share pictures of our own kitty since he is the best boy in the whole wide house.”
Staying healthy is an important part of caring for so many animals and people. Heather maintains her health through her hobbies and exercise. “My favorite way to stay healthy is running, it’s a great way to turn my brain off… I’m no Martha Stewart, but I know my way around the kitchen and that’s my happy place.” She muses, “I also do a fair bit of other domestic stuff like gardening, reading, that sort of thing.” Like many Seattleites, Heather is looking forward to spring coming soon! “Helping our yard wake up after winter is fun, and it makes me so happy to plant a huge pile of petunias (nature’s sequins- showy, vibrant, and they come in every color!) every year. Last year someone asked what my color scheme was going to be. My response was “all of them”. That’s the plan every year.”
Thank you for all of the lives you have touched, Heather! We couldn’t do this work without you.