Volunteer of the Month: Stephanie

April showers bring May flowers, but March brings another Volunteer of the Month! 

This month, we are honored to have selected Stephanie Matsunaga as SAFe’s Volunteer of the Month for March. Stephanie is a long standing volunteer with SAFe Rescue on the Cat Care team; she has maintained her position for over 3 years and in that time, has completed over 200 hours of volunteering. In addition to her many responsibilities as a Cat Care volunteer, she also volunteers on SAFe Rescue’s Development Committee, which advises our Development Team on fundraising campaigns and donor appreciation. 

When asked why Stephanie enjoys these positions, she let us know, “It’s incredibly gratifying to be even a small part of helping the cats find homes – especially the ones who might not have that opportunity elsewhere, such as those with ringworm or other medical needs. I love getting to meet the cats and (when it’s safe for an open Adoption Center) watch them find their families.”

Stephanie has been with SAFe for over three years, but she still remembers her original reason for joining the volunteer program: “I live in the neighborhood and came for the local kitties, but stayed for the great work being done by a great team of volunteers and staff.” Like Stephanie, many of SAFe’s volunteers and staff simply could not resist the SAFe kitties, leading to many years of fulfilling litter box scooping! 

Also similar to many other volunteers and staff, Stephanie enjoyed the SAFe kitties so much that she ended up taking one home! She let us know that her best memory of SAFe was meeting her own cat during a volunteer shift. “When I first started volunteering I was worried about being tempted to bring home all of the cats, so I made a huge checklist of requirements for adopting a future cat. A year later Geordi (formerly Turtle Lou) came in and checked off every box as if he was meant to be with me. He’s been monopolizing my lap and attempting to convince me to let him try pretzels ever since.”

Stephanie and Geordi

While Stephanie loves helping homeless cats, her volunteering interests do not stop there. In fact, in her time not helping homeless kitties, she can be found working two other jobs in Development for other organizations that she loves: Seattle Opera and Seattle Symphony! Stephanie consistently works to help those in need and to support the arts in her community. While she’s not dedicating herself to the greater good and the arts, she can be seen filling her time with hobbies including reading and creating art. “When I’m not working or volunteering, I enjoy reading and gaming, making excuses for not practicing bassoon, and labeling my attempts at crafting ‘rustic’ when they don’t turn out like the tutorials.” 

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