Volunteer of the Month: Kellen

If you’ve ever admired the tidy shelves of donations making up SAFe Rescue’s Pet Pantry, you can thank Kellen! A high school student and athlete, Kellen juggles Running Start college courses, football practice, and board gaming with Community Support volunteer shifts, not to mention looking after his own kitty at home (featured above).

Why He Volunteers

When Kellen’s mom first encouraged him to take up volunteering in 2023, Kellen knew he wanted to focus on cats in need. At the time, SAFe Rescue was two years into our Pet Pantry program, but our previous location off of Aurora Avenue offered limited room for the growing influx of donations.

“My first impression [of the old space] was a lot of cat food and not a lot of space to put it,” Kellen says. 

Now, in our spacious new Ballinger home, Kellen has a direct hand in navigating storage solutions – often literally. His duties range from packing supply orders for Pet Pantry applicants, stocking the lobby shelves for weekly Drop-By Hours, to sorting and taking inventory of donations. Fortunately, as a football player, handling heavy pet food bags is a cinch for Kellen.

“It’s challenging making all the donations fit,” he admits. “But I was surprised by the expanded community support.”

“He’s always super excited to take on projects and shows up with a super flexible attitude every single week,” says Dylan, SAFe Rescue’s Community Support Manager. “He’s ready for anything that’s thrown at him.”

Best Memory

As much as he enjoys helping out the people in our community, the part of volunteering Kellen most looks forward to is watching the Rescue kitties flourish.

“The people are fun to work with, but the best part is seeing the cats,” he says. “Even just in passing.”

Of all his time with SAFe, Kellen most treasures his experience observing Tater Tot, a husky hunk of tabby who was put on an exercise regimen by the Medical Team.

“I loved watching Tater Tot do his cardio around his enclosure!” Kellen recalls.

Thank you, Kellen, for all you do to support Rescue kitties and their families! We are so grateful for the time you take out of each week to ensure our community gets quality cat care and resources. Happy one-year anniversary on our Volunteer Team!

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