The sister bond is a strong one, and our sibling Volunteers of the Month are proof of that.
Driven by a commitment to community, and linked by an irrepressible love for animals, sisters Grace, Madalynn, and Meredith have been busy putting good vibes out into the universe with their teenage awesomeness. Hailing from Three Rivers, Michigan, these vibrant girls moved down here with their family about six months ago. “Our home has always had a variety of animals from dogs, cats, a turtle and even a praying mantis at one time!” explains Lisa, their mother. “Our family has always found that an animal in our home brings comfort and laughter!”
But moving into a new living situation, trading in the harsh Michigan winters for the fair weather of the Sunshine State, meant a lot of change- including having to find a home for the family cats. So, they wanted an opportunity to be around more animals than they could have in their home. (Although they do have a one year-old boxer named Sasha who is always keeping the girls on their toes.) “Volunteering has been healing and comforting,” the family says of their decision to pitch in at the shelter. “When you give with no expectations, you learn to care and love in a totally different way. You are happy when an animal finds a home, you learn the animals by name and, to us, that builds character.”
Grace, who fifteen years-old and heading into the tenth grade, loves to read, craft, play games, and spend time outside.
“I have really enjoyed volunteering at the Humane Society!!!! I love seeing the animals that come being able to have a second chance, I also love playing with all of the dogs!!! One of the reasons I have enjoyed volunteering is I hope to go to school to become a vet tech and then a vet. I think that this experience will help me in the future. I also really love animals (horses and dogs are my favorite!) So anytime I get time with them I love it!! It’s amazing when an animal you have spent time with gets a new home, because you can tell that they want to be loved, played with, given attention, given a home, and you try to do that as much as you can. But it’s not the same as having a home. So it’s awesome when they finally get that!!”
Madalynn, who is about to turn fourteen, will also be in the tenth grade soon. A lover of the great outdoors, her favorite things to do are paint, run, draw, and swim.
“The reason I love to volunteer is so I can see and help all sorts of animals. My favorites are of course the cats! I adore getting to know all of them!! I love meeting the new ones each week!!! I also love seeing all the ‘old’ ones! They are sooo sweet. One thing that volunteering has taught me is to love all the animals no matter what they have been through. I love seeing them find new homes. I am so glad that we got the opportunity to be voted the Volunteers of the Month! Thank y’all so much!!!!!”
Last, but certainly not least, is the youngest sister: Meredith. Twelve years-old and in the sixth grade.
“I love to collect rocks and tumble them! I love animals (my personal favorite animal is cats!). I love to be outside playing, swimming and looking for wildlife! Being from Michigan, I really like to look for gators now that I’m in Florida! I like organizing and helping with cooking meals as well. I enjoy volunteering because I get to love on all the cats. And I really like it when they find new homes. I am also learning to think of others before myself. I really like coming to the Catty Shack!”
Whether they are walking the dogs, feeding the cats, cleaning the animals’ living quarters, or attending HS/SPCA events, all three sisters and their dynamo mom Lisa agree that the hands-on experience the girls get at our HS/SPCA is not only an invaluable teaching moment they’ll apply to so many aspects of their lives down the road, but emotionally rewarding as well. High on their list of great memories at our HS/SPCA is the joy they felt when Kahlua, a female pit mix who’d been cared for at the shelter for over a year, found a loving foster home under their watch.
There is no doubt that our HS/SPCA is better for the youthful energy and enthusiasm this delightful sister brigade brings to our shelter. The passion and commitment Grace, Madalynn, and Meredith exhibit as young volunteers is nothing short of inspiring, and we are grateful for all these sisters do to help our shelter continue operating so efficiently on the fuel of their love for animals in need. As for Lisa, their mom? Well, brava for raising three daughters who have already, at such young ages, positively impacted the world around them. We look forward to watching them flourish at our shelter possibly as future Board members… and maybe even show us the coolest new emojis to use on our smart phones!