Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I turned green .... by Jill C.

There I was scrolling through Facebook classifieds out of complete and udder boredom when I came upon a post from AHWF looking for volunteers. Seriously? This kind of opportunity never presents itself to me. Well at least it didn't in my previous small-town life in Perry, Utah. I was bored and looking for ways to connect with people. Possibly even connect with me. We had just purchased a powersports dealership in town and had only been here a few months. I needed out of the house like a dehydrated dog in the dessert needs water. I have always been an animal lover and have dreamed of working with animals. I could kill two birds with one stone. Bad analogy, I would never kill a bird, but I could help save some. This was going to be perfect! And it is!

 Day one I showed up eager to learn and jump right in. The best part was that this incredible lady sharing her knowledge and passion with me allowed it! She was so patient with me and thorough with the information needed to care for the animals. I left on cloud nine and couldn’t wait to return. I could only get out to volunteer like once a week, which was far from enough time. For some reason I couldn’t find a volunteer babysitter to care for my boys while I volunteered elsewhere. Apparently, people want to get paid for that these days. Ha-ha. If only I had family here! It was springtime and the animals were flowing in like crazy. Kathleen had lost her interns for the season and was trying to keep up with it all on top of working a paying job. I honestly do not know how she keeps it all together. It was kind of like watching someone juggle ten objects. You just sit there and watch with your mouth open, but no words come out. I am pretty sure that she is the real wonder woman.

I mentioned loving animals, but I did not mention anything about love for mealworms or the lack there of! I am pretty sure that I turned green when Kathleen stuck her hand in a container chuck full of the creepy crawlers. Mealworms and beetles! Was I going to have to do this? I had two choices at this point: run like the wind or face my fears. Luckily, she brought up the tweezers shortly after. Oh, thank the lord, I could breathe again. As time went on and I spent more time tending to the wide variety of birds and sifting for their tasty treats, I got a little less squeamish. I eventually stuck my bare fingers in there and grabbed a couple, but I hated every second of it.

I haven’t been a volunteer for too long, but it already feels like I belong there and AHWF will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was lonely and missing home, it helped me to start to fall in love with my new home here in Northern Idaho. It’s so fulfilling watching these little fighters grow and become strong through the education, knowledge and experience that their amazing founder has. Let’s not forget to mention the cuteness overload here either. Have you ever sat and watched a baby skunk or raccoon play? If not, I highly recommend it!

I have had the opportunity to assist with many other things that go on behind the scenes as well, and trust me, there is a lot!! If I could change one thing about the foundation it would be more consistent support. I would urge more people to volunteer their time and make donation to keep this amazing organization thriving.