Friday, July 02, 2010

The volunteers at the DSC!

Ok...I must admit part of the charm and the feeling of  comfort and love at the DSC are the numbers of wonderful and amazing volunteers. Over the years the numbers of volunteers has grown from four to over 40 on any given week, and to over a 100 for Donkey Days. Being a newbie, I don't feel I am in that "class" yet, but that is definitely something I am thriving for and something that has inspired me to be the best I can be and to learn as much as I can as soon as possible, but unfortunately sometimes my brain has other ideas, but I am trying. I want to give back to the new visitors, what I received when I was a visitor with each and every visit, a newfound love for this place, the animals and the people there, respect and just a whole lot of knowledge. A place really is always only as good as the people that work there, and that goes for any workplace or volunteer place. I am only gonna talk about the volunteers that I personally know from working and visiting with them on OPEN DAYS, I know there are a lot more than these few, but these are the people who are on the frontline of teaching and spreading the word. There are tons of volunteers coming out on Saturdays for massive grooming hours, and I know the donkeys know every single one of them and are looking forward to those special hours with them. Part of why I started to come out during the week was that there were already so many volunteers on Saturday, since it is a most convenient day for most people, and that was fine with me, I do like my peace and quite and aloneness with the donkeys on "my"day, but I am definitely enjoying my Open Days with some of the volunteers and  the interaction with them. Some of them have been there right from the start and know pretty much everything about the DSC, seem like every single one has carved out their little niche of information specialty over the years, I am still trying to find mine. There is for example S., she knows every single donkey's story, where they came from, when they were born, what brought them to the DSC, how long they have been here, absolutely every single detail of their life. It is absolutely amazing. Usually when I get stuck on a story I can go to her and she fills in the blanks for me.She also volunteers at the SPCA in St. Catherine, where she lives. Then there is H., who has been there for a long time, she knows every donkey's name and has little tricks how to tell them apart, I have learnt a lot from her and I think I am doing pretty good with knowing all  55 donkeys, 9 mules, 3 goats and 4 sheeps by name. L. is amazing in knowing what to do to get the word out there, her dedication of educating the public outside of the fences of the DSC is amazing. C. is in charge of the foster farm system and dealing with that a lot, she is also in charge overall with scheduling volunteers and is there for the volunteers with any kind of questions. R. is a girl of all trades, she is in charge of the boutique and purchasing the inventory, she is also the public relationship person on a part time basis.  And I have to mention T., omg T. and I have so much fun, we are as different as night and day but we hit it off right away. T. cracks me up every single day I am with her. She has the same sense of humour as I do, but you wouldn't know it when you first see or meet her. She is a retired special ed teacher, looks way younger than she is and omg when she talks she is so prim and proper, so well spoken and educated, and sounds so serious all the time, but then when you hang out with her, omg she is so  silly and goofy and funny and absolutely not what you expect her to be. She is awesome and she really has a talent with dealing with special children and adults and it is fun to watch her do her " job" with the Education centre at the DSC.  And of course then there are the countless new volunteers, including me, who are still trying to find their way around with all the infos and ongoings and jobs on the farm. As for me, I am so happy and proud of all the things I have done so far at the farm, and every day is a new adventure, a new chance of learning something and I am so grateful for all the support there and the opportunity to do what they teach and allow me to do and it might not be a big deal to others, but  again  for me as the individual that I am, it is huge and has given and taught me so much.
As we signed up the commitment to the DSC was to put in at least 12 hours a year, well that is easily surpassed even in a month, so no problem there. :)


AJ-OAKS said...

It is wonderful that the volunteer numbers have continued to increase. The more people are educated about donkeys, the more the word gets around. You are doing such a fantastic job teaching and showing the folks that donkeys are truly amazing.
Loved the part about the 95 year old man!

John Gray said...

just was thinking about you as I have just been given 6 terribly battered battry hens.....

there's always an animal that needed cring for eh?

Tina said...

John, unfortunately there always is, but then there are always people like yourself , and many many others who do care enough to take them on and care for them, and those are the lucky ones. I have met so many great fellow bloggers that do care and go out of their way to help. I always just think of all the unlucky animals that don't get where they need to go and get the care they deserve. Makes me so sad and mad at the same time.