In fiscal year 2020, Phinney’s volunteers responded to roughly 1,200 requests for help over the phone, via email, and through social media!
A typical assignment for a Phinney’s volunteer might include finding foster care for pets whose people are injured or sick, delivering pet food and supplies, walking dogs, or patiently listening to someone who just needs to talk through how they’ll manage their pet’s quality of life despite the challenges they face.
A lot of the time, all it takes is some words of encouragement and helping a pet parent come up with a plan. There are times when the solution is for Phinney’s to pay a costly vet bill or foster the pet for days, weeks, or months to make sure a beloved pet doesn’t have to be surrendered. And, everything Phinney’s volunteers do is in furtherance of this mission to extend a helping hand to pet parents in need.
There’s also a lot of “behind the scenes” work that goes on, too. There are many opportunities to contribute to areas like public relations, photography, graphic design, web development, writing content, marketing, fundraising, and event planning. We have also had licensed accounting and tax, legal, and veterinary professionals donate their time to help ensure that our business practices meet applicable financial reporting and legal and regulatory requirements.
“Phinney’s volunteers have such unique and diverse skillsets and interests and getting to know what they would like to do and then seeing them do it is really an inspiration,” says President Daniela Caride, who herself started out as a volunteer with the organization in 2007. “As an all-volunteer nonprofit, we can 100% say that it is because of our volunteers that we are able to continually serve pets and their people here in Massachusetts.”
But, COVID has put a strain on Phinney’s resources. “We know there are a lot more people out there struggling because they lost their jobs, got sick from COVID, or need to care for someone who’s ill, and we want to be able to help as many of them as possible,” Daniela said. “Bigger demand for Phinney’s services means we could really use more volunteers who want to contribute as case coordinators,” she added. The role requires someone who’s organized and who’s up for the challenge of helping people come up with solutions to address their concerns. This can be a very rewarding because it takes courage and creativity and gives the volunteer the chance to be involved with a particular person and their pet(s) from the start when they reach out for help straight through the resolution of the issue, Daniela says.
If you or someone you know would like to volunteer with Phinney’s, please visit phinneys.org/volunteer. To everyone who’s ever answered the call to become involved in community service, Phinney’s thanks you! And, of course, we’d like to dedicate this Bark Tweet Meow to our amazing volunteers and our volunteer social media manager, Erika, who shared with us a sweet photo of her and Mack, her beloved dog, for this post!
One VOLUNTEEr's Why
“As a dog mom myself, I would do anything to keep my pup safe, healthy and happy. Last year it became clear this pandemic was going to stick around for a while, I began looking for ways to give back to the community and help ensure other families and their pets had the support they needed during this difficult time. The more I learned about Phinney's, the more I wanted to become part of this important group of volunteers that is doing such incredible work right here in my own backyard.”
—Erika, Social Media Manager Volunteer