Wednesday, April 25, 2012



On my very first visit to the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, I not only fell in love with the animals, the surrounding but also the people that dedicated their time with so much love and care to these amazing animals. Lots of people volunteer at the DSC for various reasons, but you quickly can feel out the hard working and dedicated volunteers. Most of the volunteers want to spend time with the animals and take care of them and yes, while that is one of the more fun parts of volunteering, we also have a "job" to do. When I first started to volunteer it was very important to me to sign also up as an "Open Day" Volunteer. Me? Shy, quiet me, who doesn't talk to strangers or any other person unless I have to, but it was something I wanted to do, mainly because I wanted to make our visitors leave the same way and feel the same way I felt after each visit, full of love and appreciation and an understanding and new found knowledge. Unfortunately we have trouble finding volunteers for that kind of position, and it is us hardcore volunteers that you will find out there every Sunday and Wednesday from 8 am til 4pm for 26 weeks out of the year in any kind of weather, educating people, answering question after question, handling donkeys, introducing donkeys, picking poop and making sure our Open Days run smoothly.

Volunteer picking the Garden paddock
You can't miss us, we are easily seen due to our bright yellow T-shirts, and even though we don't have enough people out during the Open Day we work our butts of to make these busy days a great experience for our visitors. It's a long season and by mid August one kind of wishes it was the end of October already, but somehow we catch a second wind and master the last few weeks with smiles on our faces and ready to answer the same questions for the 1000th time this season. Out of our volunteer base of 40 active volunteers only about a quarter helps out on Open Days, and out of that only a 1/3 is there every single Open Day. That means no Sundays with your family at home, no Mother's Day lunch, no Thanksgiving dinner with the family or whatever else people do on Sundays, you will find us with our extended "Donkey friends" family and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. For this year I have made it my priority to work just as hard for the volunteers,as the volunteers work for the Donkeys, and make sure they know how much they are appreciated and valued.
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. ~Elizabeth Andrew

Making sure you have the right donkey...yup three pencil dots on your're Johnny


Cat said...

Yes, it is a special person to be that dedicated as a volunteer. I have noticed that with several of the groups that I have been in. There are helper types, yep, in, then out. Then the ones like you, where the dedication is breath taking. The few, the dedicated, the Volunteer...


(Who really didn't mean these cuties when I just the term Jackass on my P blog. I reserve Jackass for the HUMAN animal...)

TexWisGirl said...

wow! you really pour your heart into it. you did a great post to explain the dedication and TIME folks put into their passion - for no pay and sometimes little gratitude. but a lot of satisfaction, hopefully. :)

Anonymous said...

I work with a lot of volunteers and am always amazed what people will give from their hearts.

Very special. Where in Canada is this? BTW

Visiting from A to Z challenge.