I had trouble deciding what volunteering experience I wanted to do while I was in Arizona. There are many different opportunities available, but it was challenging to find one that could work around my schedule. I landed on volunteering for the Human Society of Southern Arizona. I connected with the organization because they bring a few dogs to our campus every other week for students to pet in between classes. After visiting their event a few times, I asked the organization if I could help. I don’t plan on working with animals in my future, but I did work with them all through high school and really wanted to get involved again.
I am passionate about this cause owing to my love of animals, but I have also witnessed a rampant homeless animal problem in Tucson. I have learned through my work with the organization that this is attributable to the housing burst, the Native American reservations, and issues with poverty in the city. I have many at home and have missed them a lot during my exchange program. As I cannot be with my own pets, it has been gratifying to help other animals that do not have a home. I am grateful to be a part of an organization doing their part with this problem by finding permanent homes for these animals.
I would consider myself an insider to the organization. They are very kind and accepting people. I also felt like the experiences I had from volunteering and working at a veterinarian clinic in high school gave me an advantage over other volunteers.
I’m not entirely sure how I influenced the organization, but I feel like my leadership skills and experience played a major role in the tasks that they allowed me to do.