Hello everyone, I’m Kristiina Stromness! I’ve been filling in for Maranda Hawkes, our regular Volunteer Coordinator, while she is out on her maternity leave. It has been a busy first month for me as we moved our office, opened our Cat Adoption Suite and held our Spring Pet Super Adoption. I’m really excited to be working here, especially with so many fantastic volunteers.
Volunteering has been a part of my life since high school but a year ago, it became absolutely central to my existence. I started volunteering for Ching Farm Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in November of 2008. In the beginning, I was feeding pigs weekly on Tuesday mornings, but it didn’t take long for me to get more involved in fundraising--and in early 2009, I found myself as Race Director for Ching’s 5K run. I was completely in love with all of the animals at the sanctuary and was determined to make their first 5K-fundraiser a success.
Without the sense of purpose my volunteer job gave me, I would have been devastated when I was laid off from my job of 5 years last May. As my boss told me what my last day would be, the practical part of my brain panicked but my heart soared--I would have so much more time to volunteer!
I was able to spend my summer caring for the farm animals I loved and raising money for their food and other needs. The donations received through the 5k were able to buy hay and grain throughout the summer; it was so much more fulfilling than the fashion industry I was used to.
When all of the work is taken care of at the sanctuary, I love to just hang out with the animals. Sometimes I can convince a miniature horse to let me take them for a walk. In the picture you can see two of my favorites, Big Ben the miniature horse and Burt the miniature donkey. Ben is the most reluctant of the mini’s, but once all the others have had a walk he can’t wait to go. Every one of the animals has his or her own personality quirks that come out as you spend time with them. That has been the most rewarding part of my work there, to be able to see all the animal’s individual personalities.
No More Homeless Pets in Utah has been very understanding of my commitment to volunteering and Holly lets me come in late on Tuesdays so that I can still work at the sanctuary.
I’m very excited to be working with an organization that has such a strong volunteer base and is so dedicated to Utah's dogs and cats. I was thrilled with the turn out we received at Super Adoption, even though it was pouring rain and sometimes snowing. Everyone that I have met so far has been awesome. I can’t wait to meet the rest of you at Strut Your Mutt!