Home Animal volunteer Making volunteering within reach in Columbus, Ohio

Making volunteering within reach in Columbus, Ohio

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👋 Alissa here. Ever wanted to do something outside of your comfort zone but felt too intimidated to take the first step?

  • I thought about volunteering for years, but assumed I didn’t have enough free time to make a real impact.

Driving the news: I recently became a Columbus Humane cat care volunteer – through an extensive but not at all daunting training process.

How it works: We play with cats and monitor their behavior with careful notes. Many shelter animals are naturally stressed, but if kept comfortable and socialized they are more likely to be adopted.

  • I schedule two-hour shifts at my convenience at least twice a month.

The big picture: About 90% of Americans want to volunteer, but only 25% actually do so, according to Stanford University.

  • With the pandemic shutdowns behind us, many nonprofits are still working to replenish volunteers as activities resume, their leaders tell Axios.
  • Meanwhile, flexible work-from-home hours are freeing up many potential volunteers – including me – to help out for the first time.

😺 Quick take: On my first shift last weekend, the cats embodied how many of us feel when trying something new.

  • Some are fearless, like Cindi, who leapt out of her doghouse and into my lap.
  • But many others are like Princess Peep, who needed to be cajoled and encouraged before she found the confidence to go out.

😻 In the end, both cats were adopted and I’m proud to have played a small part.

The bottom line: Volunteering is a great way to connect with like-minded people and give back — and it’s never too late to take that first step. These groups list many local opportunities:

And after: Columbus Humane’s next volunteer orientation will be August 30th. Opportunities range from washing up and greeting visitors to photography and caring for animals.

📬 We want to know: What are your favorite ways to give back? Click reply!